Requesting a bench
How to request a bench on the pavement
If you would like a bench to be placed on the pavement in a specific location please provide your name, address and the reason why the bench is required at that location (for example: a disability which means you have a need sit down at regular intervals). The location will then be assessed to see whether the location is suitable.
Please see the Council’s procedure for dealing with requests for benches on the highway below. You can contact us by sending an email to [email protected].
- Procedure for processing requests for benches
Requests for new benches
1. When a request is received to place a bench in a specific location, the applicant would be required to provide their name, address and the reason why the bench is required at that location (e.g a disability which means they have a need sit down at regular intervals). The location would be assessed to see whether the location is suitable. When assessing the suitability, the following information would be considered.
- Whether a request for a bench at the same location has been made previously and the outcome (i.e was it refused?)
- The immediate area around which the bench is proposed. Benches will not be placed in front of windows or doors of residential premises or shops, or outside schools.
- Whether there is another bench/bus shelter nearby.
- Whether there is sufficient pavement width to place a bench – we would use the same criteria as is used for placing tables and chairs on the highway, as set out in the Transport Supplementary Planning Document. The standards relate to the width of footway that must be left clear of obstacles so that pedestrians can pass without being obstructed. A minimum of two metres must be left clear to allow pedestrians, prams and wheelchairs to pass without difficulty. In areas with high pedestrian flows the ‘clear’ footway would need to be more than two metres. Where a site is within a principal shopping centre’ (areas considered to be busy) a minimum of four metres is required. Where an area is considered to be of medium usage a minimum of three metres clear pavement width is required.
- Whether the bench can be physically installed (i.e it would not be placed over a cellar). This would be checked by consulting Highways.
- Whether the bench is acceptable to the Community Safety team (i.e any history of anti-social behaviour near the location proposed).
2. Once the location requested has been assessed, if it does not meet the Council’s criteria, the person making the request would be informed.
3. If the request for a new bench meets the Council’s criteria, the details of the request would be added to a list. All requests which have met the criteria would be looked at during February, June and October and, should the likely cost of approving all the request exceed our budget, they would be prioritised based on need - for instance, the number of requests that have been made for a bench at a specific location, whether there are no other benches or anywhere to sit in the vicinity of the bench requested, disability of the person making the request or there is a need to sit down, e.g. near a bus stop. If there are several requests for benches at locations which are fairly close together we would look for the location that would satisfy the most needs.
Requests for existing benches to be removed or relocated
4. The Council will consider a request to remove or relocate an existing bench only if it receives individual requests to do so from at least three households in the nearby area.
5. Ward councillors would be sent bench proposals being put forward for consultation for their comments. A site notice inviting comments would be erected near the proposed site. The notice would also be sent to resident associations in the ward. Six weeks would be given for providing comments on the bench proposed. This is the same public consultation process as is followed for traffic order changes.
6. If there are no objections at the end of the consultation period, the benches would be placed on the highway.
7. If there are objections, the Director of Transport and Regulatory Services would consider these after consulting with the relevant ward councillors.
8. A list will be collated of requests that have been refused and the reasons why.
Note. This process excludes benches which require planning permission.
Sponsoring a bench on the pavement
We welcome contributions towards the cost of installing a new bench or sponsoring of an existing bench.
The cost of purchasing a new bench or sponsoring an existing bench is £2,697 for 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024.
We consult on the placing of benches and may have to remove them, so any acceptance of funding is under the condition that the final decision on the bench rests with the Council. If for any reason the bench does need to be removed, efforts will be made to relocate it in a nearby position but the Council retains the right to replace or permanently remove the bench if necessary, and the property rights to the bench will belong to the Council.
Sponsorship will be on a first come, first serve basis, but we will endeavour to place the bench as close as possible to the sponsor’s preferred location. Sponsorship of a bench would mean that a small plaque would be placed on the bench which reads 'This bench has been sponsored by [name of sponsor].'
If you are interested in sponsoring a bench please email us at: [email protected], stating your interest and preferred location (if any). We will contact you with confirmation of the request and details on how to make the payment.
Sponsoring a Memorial Bench in a Park Managed by the Council
If you would like to sponsor a memorial bench in a park managed by the Council then please email [email protected].
Please note that Kensington Gardens is managed by the Royal Parks and not the Council.
Last updated: 31 March 2023