Tables and chairs licensing

Apply for a Pavement Licence

Apply for a Pavement Licence

A Pavement Licence is a new, temporary licence that allows businesses to place tables and chairs and other street furniture on pavements and closed roads so that pedestrians can walk safely without being obstructed.

Pavement Licences are issued under the Business and Planning Act 2020. This legislation requires that we consult publicly on your proposal for one week.

What pavement furniture can be licensed?

In appropriate locations, the Council will license any pavement furniture items
reasonably associated with external dining or the serving of food or drink.
The following items could potentially be licensed:

  • counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink;
  • tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed;
  • chairs, benches or other forms of seating;
  • removable decking to achieve a level surface (roads slope down to the kerb);
  • heaters;
  • planters; and,
  • umbrellas, barriers and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.
What conditions will apply?

The application site must be directly in front of the premises or alternatively to the side where the premises is on a street corner. We will only license café terraces in front of contiguous frontages if we are satisfied that those neighbouring businesses support the pavement licence application. Applicants should provide evidence within their application submission to that end.

In order to limit the impact of external seating areas on residential amenity, licensed hours will normally be limited to between 8am and 10pm, Monday to Sunday. Any departure from these normal hours would need to be fully justified. Businesses that have a licence with a terminal hour of later than 10pm shall be granted a new licence with their previously licensed hours (subject to due process being followed).

We require all licensed pavement furniture on footways to be easily removable. At the end time for the use of tables and chairs, they must be brought inside the premises. In the case of Pavement Licences issued in respect of footway extensions, it may be sufficient for the tables and chairs to be put out of use, in a safe manner. Planters, platforms and other means of enclosure can be left on street so long as they are secure, safe, illuminated and protected by a line of traffic cones.

It is vital that any external facilities proposed on the highway (including on public footways) are covered by the applicant’s insurance policy. We require public liability insurance to the value of £5 million. Any licence application for pavement furniture will be unsuccessful without proof of insurance.

Under the Business and Planning Act 2020, applicants must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted. The application drawing should indicate which tables are to be smoke free. Smoke free seating areas must be a minimum of 2 metres from any tables where smoking is permitted.

We will generally grant Pavement Licences until 30 September 2021, the final date of the Government’s emergency measures. In circumstances where we consider that issuing a licence for a shorter period would be prudent to monitor the impact of a proposal, we will issue a licence for three months.

Standard National and Local Pavement Licence conditions

Conditions 1 and 2 (below) are national conditions. The remainder are conditions that apply within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

  1. The Licensee must ensure that clear routes of access along the highway are maintained, taking into account the needs of disabled people, and the recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by mobility impaired and visually impaired persons are provided at all times the licence is in operation. 

  2. Where the furniture on the relevant highways consists of seating for use by persons, for the purpose of consuming food or drink, the licence holder must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted. 

  3. This licence only permits the use of table and chairs or other authorised furniture on the highway in the area designated on the plan attached to the licence. 

  4. This licence only permits the use of table and chairs or other authorised furniture on the highway in connection with the use of the adjacent premises/ business at the application address.

  5. No alcohol is to be sold or consumed from the designated area identified unless that sale and/or consumption is approved under the Licensing Act 2003 which includes any temporary authorisations for the sale of alcohol permitted pursuant to the Business and Planning Act 2020. 

  6. No furniture may be placed within the designated area identified on the plan other than that expressly permitted by the licence. 

  7. This Licence does not allow the use of loudspeakers, amplification or other similar equipment. 

  8. All furniture approved for use, including tables, chairs, barriers, and umbrellas must be safe for public use and must be kept in good repair and condition. 

  9. Operators are required to manage their premises and outdoor seating areas in accordance with current social distancing measures and government guidance. 

  10. The Licensee must ensure that good order and behaviour is maintained at all times by people using any tables and chairs or other authorised furniture pursuant to this licence and that no nuisance is caused to residential or business neighbours. 

  11. All tables and chairs and other authorised furniture shall be removed immediately from the highway when required by the Council, Metropolitan Police or emergency services in the interest of public safety, public order, safe and efficient highway operation or to facilitate necessary statutory undertaker or utility works. 

  12. All tables and chairs and other authorised furniture that is used in connection with a Pavement Licence must be removable which means that it is not a permanent fixed structure and is able to be moved easily, and stored off the highway if required.

  13. The tables and chairs and other authorised furniture shall not be placed on the highway before the time specified and is to be put out of use no later than 22:00 hours. Service at the tables should cease at 21:30 hours in order for this to be achieved. Trading may only take place on

    the days and during the times specified on the licence. 

  14. A copy of the licence shall be displayed during the hours of trading in a prominent position agreed by the Council, either in the front window of the premises or nearby so as to be clearly visible from the outside to anyone wishing to inspect it. 

  15. No fixtures to or excavation of any kind shall be made in the surface of the highway, which shall be left entirely undisturbed. 

  16. The Licensee shall not use this licence unless it has public liability insurance cover in the sum of not less than £5 million and has provided a copy of that policy to the Council. 

  17. Tables and chairs and other authorised furniture must be stored in such a way that they cannot be moved or used outside of licensed hours

  18. Staff must regularly monitor the licensed area to ensure it is kept clean and tidy. Any litter or waste arising from use of the licensed area must be cleared away as soon as is practicable. The licence holder shall ensure that any spillages are promptly removed from the highway and restore the affected area of highway to a clean and safe condition. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that the licensed area is washed down on a daily basis. The Council will recharge the licence-holder the full cost of any remedial work to remove any residual staining of the highway outside his or her premises, including the replacement of the paving stones if necessary, by pavement stones of an equivalent quality and to an equivalent standard. 

  19. If the Council serves a Notice on the licence holder requiring him/her to take such steps as are necessary to remedy any breach of the terms of this licence, and the licence holder fails to comply with the notice the Council may itself take the steps required by the Notice and recover from the licence holder any expenses incurred. 

  20. All pavement furniture placed on “footway extensions” shall be enclosed with barriers on three sides to separate tables and chairs from trafficked areas, so as to maintain customer safety

  21. On footway extensions, planters, barriers, traffic cones and other prominent objects must be positioned on the roadway side of the licensed area to make it clearly visible and to physically separate the licensed area from trafficked areas. The maintenance of these items in position is the responsibility of the licence holder. Objects on the boundary of the licensed area must be painted brightly with appropriate reflective markings so that they can be easily seen after dark. 

  22. The pavement licence holder shall ensure that the management team of the business to which the pavement licence is attached register and successfully complete the nationally recognised counter terrorism training product referred to as ACT eLearning package within 10 days of the grant of the Pavement Licence OR can demonstrate that the ACT eLearning product has been successfully completed within the preceding 12 months and that all staff employed by or at the premises complete the ACT eLearning within a reasonable period not exceeding 3 months from date of the Pavement Licence (ACT eLearning Certificates are provided on successful on-line completion). 

  23. The Pavement licence holder shall ensure that the existing CCTV systems are correctly working, are compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998, Information Commissioner requirements, and any other CCTV Code of Conduct produced by the Police or Local Authority. Imagery shall be retained for at least 28 days and images produced given to a Police Officer or Local Authority Enforcement Officer upon reasonable request. Faults which render the CCTV system or parts of it inoperable should normally be rectified within 24 hours. 


Before you apply

  • We will grant Pavement Licences on our footways for 12 months or until 30 September 2021, whichever is the shorter duration.
  • The Licence Application Fee is £100 which is payable before your application can be processed. This charge is non-refundable.
  • You will be asked to supply evidence of your Public Liability Insurance cover to the minimum value of £5 million. If you supply the wrong documentation your application may be rejected in which circumstances you may forfeit your Licence Application Fee.
  • The granting of a pavement licence removes the need for planning permission.
  • Read the Licensing Pavement Furniture Guidance for more information.

How to apply

Use this form to apply for a Pavement Licences to place tables and chairs and other pavement furniture on footways, temporary footway extensions (on suspended parking bays) or on closed roads

As part of your application, you’ll be asked to provide:

  • your trading name and address.

  • information about how you intend to use your street furniture. For example, you will be asked to specify whether the application is for external seating or for the serving / vending of food or drink or for both.

  • the location you will store your furniture outside the licenced hours.

  • the type, quantity and size (dimensions) of furniture you plan to place on the highway.

  • width of the footpath from building line to the kerb (in metres).

  • furniture plan at 1:50 scale, showing the proposed location of the tables, chairs and other street furniture outside the premises. Annotations with measurements should be provided.

  • the days and hours you would like to place tables, chairs and other furniture on the highway. The times normally acceptable to the Council for pavement licences are between 8am and 10pm to limit impacts on residential amenity.

  • Public Liability Insurance Policy Schedule or a letter or formal document from the insurance company stating the period of insurance, level of insurance cover and premises insured. Important - A Certificate of Employers Liability insurance is not an accepted document.

  • Payment of the Licence Application Fee of £100.00.

When you're ready to start the application select the start button.


Examples of acceptable furniture plans

Annotated Furniture Plan Example 1

Example 1 - A furniture plan, not to scale but shows the surrounding area and measurements.

Annotated Furniture Plan Example 2

Example 2 - A furniture plan, not to scale but shows annotated measurements and size of the furniture.


What happens after you apply?

  • You will receive an email confirming we have received your Pavement Licence Application. A site notice will be attached. 
  • You are required to print, sign and date the site notice and to post it in a prominent position on the premises frontage on the application date. The site notice should be displayed until your application is determined.
  • Please take a photo of the site notice in position and send it to on the application date. Please include your case reference number in your email. You can find your case reference number on your site notice.
  • Your application will be published on the Council's website for one week to allow for local residents and businesses to make a representation. For more information visit Search for a Tables and Chairs Licence or submit a representation.
  • You will receive a final decision on your application (subject to results of the one week consultation) within two weeks from the date you submitted your application. You will receive a formal letter and your licence by email. You can set out furniture on pavements from the date specified on the licence.
  • You must print and display your licence in your premises window.

Last updated: 8 June 2021