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Legal Q&A: pavement licences

By Poppleston Allen

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Advice piece: Poppleston Allen give the answers you need to know about pavement licences (image: Getty/urbazon)
Advice piece: Poppleston Allen give the answers you need to know about pavement licences (image: Getty/urbazon)

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Licensing experts Poppleston Allen answer questions about pavement licences.

Q: What will I need to do if I have a Pavement Licence granted under the Business and Planning Act 2020 that is due to expire before 30 September 2021?

A: You will need to apply for a new Fast Track Pavement Licence under the same piece of legislation, after the Act was amended so that licences could be granted to 30 September 2022. 

Q: If my current Pavement Licence ends on 30 September 2021, but my new licence will not be granted until after that date what will I need to do?

A: You will have no permission from the Local Authority to place your tables and chairs outside on the public highway, and they could ask you to remove them, but one would hope that the Local Authority would take a pragmatic approach if your application has already been submitted. However, they would be within their rights to ask you to remove them whilst your application is determined.

Q: Is the application which is made an application for the renewal of the previous Fast Track Pavement Licence or is it a new application?

A: It is not a renewal but, rather, a new licence application, although you still have to go through the same processes as you would have done when you previously obtained your Fast Track Pavement Licence.

Q: Am I guaranteed to obtain the same Pavement Licence which I had in place prior to 30th​ September 2021?

A: Unfortunately not.  Because you are making an application for a new licence, you are duty bound to display a notice of the application on the premises, and representations may be made.  Indeed, the Local Authority may have received complaints about the use of the area, and about the area blocking the public highway at peak times and, therefore, you may find that the area which was previously covered is reduced, or the hours that you could use it are likewise cut back.  Alternatively, the Local Authority may refuse your application altogether. 

 

Q: Do I have to pay a further fee of £100 for this subsequent application?

A: Yes, you still need to pay a further £100 application fee.  It is a statutory fee, and Local Authorities are quite entitled to ask for the additional fee, although I do know of some that have waived the fee.

Q: When will the new licence be granted until?

A: The Local Authority has the discretion to grant any new Fast Track Pavement Licence for between 3 months and 12 months, but any new Fast Track Pavement Licence that is granted cannot be granted to expire beyond 30th​ September 2022.  Most Local Authorities are granting Fast Track Pavement Licences for 12 months.  Should your new licence be granted and is due to expire before 30th​ September 2022, then you will need to make a further application for a Fast Track Pavement Licence, and you should ensure that it is done in good time so that there is no gap between your existing Fast Track Pavement Licence expiring and the new one being granted.

What will I need to do in September 2022 when my Fast Track Pavement Licence is due to expire?

We await to see whether or not the Government will further extend the provisions of the Business and Planning Act 2020, so that you can continue to apply for Fast Track Pavement Licences.  Should they not, then you will need to apply for a Tables and Chairs Licence under the Highways Act 1980.  These applications can take much longer than the Fast Track Pavement Licence (which take a maximum of two weeks to be determined), and you should therefore allow anything between 6-8 weeks for a Tables and Chairs Licence to be granted under the Highways Act. You therefore need to consider starting to look at applying for these, I would suggest, in June 2022.  There is no guarantee you will be granted a Tables and Chairs Licence under the Highways Act just because you had a Fast Track Pavement Licence granted under the Business and Planning Act.  Additionally, many Local Authorities will require that you have planning permission in place for your Tables and Chairs Licence granted under the Highways Act, something that you do not currently need where permission is granted for a Fast Track Pavement Licence.

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