Pavement licences for pubs, restaurants and cafes in England to be extended for 12 months

The pavement licence makes it easier and cheaper for hospitality venues to serve people outdoors (Photo: Shutterstock)

Pavement licences are to be extended for a further 12 months in order to help the hospitality industry recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

In a letter sent by the Communities Secretary to councils, which urged them to do “everything possible” in order to get ready for the reopening of the country’s high streets, the extension on the pavement license - which is subject to parliamentary approval - was detailed.

Under measures introduced last year, the pavement licence makes it easier and cheaper for hospitality venues including pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve people outdoors.

The licence - which allows venues to put removable furniture outside on pavements - costs a maximum of £100, but those who applied for the licence before should not have to pay again or reapply, said Mr Jenrick.

Hospitality venues will be allowed to open outside areas from 12 April at the earliest, with six people from different households or a larger group from two households allowed.

The pavement licence extension supports a series of measures which were introduced by the Government last year in order to help hospitality businesses recover.

These measures will continue to remain in place as lockdown restrictions begin to ease and include:

  • the relaxation of planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways
  • greater flexibility for land to be used for temporary events
  • planning freedoms to allow outdoor markets, marquees, summer fairs or pop-up car-boot sales without a planning application being required

‘This will give further certainty to businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic’

Mr Jenrick, said: “We’re all looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again as we start to gear up for what should be a great British summer.

“Therefore I’m delighted to announce an extension on temporary provisions for pavement licences for a further 12 months. This will give further certainty to businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“As lockdown restrictions ease in the coming months I’m also keen to highlight the range of measures we’ve put in place to help support the safe reopening of hospitality businesses and our high streets.

“It’s vital we work together to do everything we can to help these businesses prosper again. That is why I’ve written to councils calling on their support to use these measures in a pragmatic way to help support the high street, businesses and jobs, once restrictions allow them to do so.”