Firstly, as we recently set out in our detailed Q&A in the MA, the fast track pavement licence legislation, writes Poppleston Allen's Sarah Taylor, brought in originally in July 2020 and due to expire on 30 September 2021, has now been extended until 30 September 2022.
If you are looking for more detail on this subject, I do urge you to read our Q&A, but in essence if you want to use a part of the highway owned by the council for tables and chairs, then in all likelihood you will be using the fast track pavement licence process (otherwise, your permission will be under the existing tables and chairs scheme via the Highways Act 1990).
The crucial point about fast track pavement licences is they will all expire on 30 September 2021 and you cannot renew them. You must apply for a new fast track pavement licence.
Different local authorities will have different approaches to whether they will let you carry on trading pending the granting of a new fast track pavement licence if you have not managed to seamlessly merge your existing licence and a fresh post-30 September 2021 application. But the important point to remember is that you will have to take some positive action by way of a fresh application in order to continue with the use of the relevant area under a fast-track pavement licence after 30 September 2021.
Remember also, that as this will be a new application, it is not guaranteed to be granted on exactly the same terms as your existing licence.
Other regulations to bear in mind
Temporary Event Notices (TENs): In June this year, the Government laid regulations before parliament extending, for the years 2022 and 2023 only, the maximum number of TENs allowed per premises from 15 to 20 and the maximum number of days such events may be held from 21 to 26. This month, those draft regulations came into force and, therefore, we can look forward to the prospect of extra TENs in 2022 and 2023.
Is the government testing the water for a permanent increase in TENs limits? I certainly have no inside knowledge but, by the end of 2023, the Government will have sufficient evidence to make such a decision, if it was minded to consider such an extension.
Off-sales: You may also, if you do not have off-sales authorised on your premises licence or have conditions on an on/off licence that prevent deliveries or the taking away of alcohol in open containers, have benefited from the relaxation of these restrictions that came with the Business & Planning Act, in force since July 2020.
In essence, as long as you are displaying a notice in the appropriate form, a premises with an on-only licence can provide off-sales, and a premises that is already permitted to provide off-sales, but is not permitted to do so by way of delivery, or can only do so in sealed containers (or both) can disregard those conditions. These are all the subject of a cut off time of 11pm.
The provisions were also due to expire on 30 September 2021. The good news is that, again, the Government has extended these relaxations for a further year until 30 September 2022. Nothing needs to be done by you beyond ensuring that your notice is still displayed in a prominent position.
Allergens: The new legislation known as Natasha’s Law will come into effect on 1 October 2021. This changes the labelling requirements for food which is pre-packaged for direct sale (PPDS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It means if you are selling PPDS food, the product will need to be labelled to show the name of the food and the full ingredients list with the 14 allergens required to be declared by law highlighted within that list – for example in bold.
It is important to remember that you must still comply with existing food information and labelling requirements in addition to the above.
For more legal advice, visit popall.co.uk.