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How Can DHA Help?

Every Local Authority has a different policy and process, but our team has extensive experience of successfully obtaining Pavement/Tables and Chairs Licences and planning permission nationwide, and will be able to help and guide you through this complex process.

We can assist with:


  • Advising on the process involved;
  • Preparing and submitting either the Pavement Licence and/or Planning Application on your behalf;
  • Monitor progress of your application; and
  • Deal with your annual renewal/s.




Contact Laura Jackson today to discuss your pavement or street trading license. Call 01622 776226 or email

Tables and chairs have become a popular addition to the country’s streets and public spaces as more of us discover the pleasures of alfresco dining in a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere. Not surprisingly there has been a steady increase in the number of cafes, restaurants, pubs and wine bars that wish to make use of the footway.


Well-managed areas for tables and chairs can make a positive contribution to the atmosphere and safety of their surroundings.


It has been widely reported that each outdoor seat created by businesses in the hospitality sector could boost their revenue by up to £6,000 a year, and that a third of restaurants, cafes and bars have the space to apply for a pavement licence.


The last two years has shown that these new outdoor spaces have the potential to bring active uses to the streets themselves and improve the overall vitality and appeal of town centres – all of which is vital in supporting the Government’s wider regeneration strategy.



Our Clients


We have assisted a number of clients over the last 20 years with their tables and chairs licences, including:



           Greene King                         Stonegate Pub Company                           Swan London


Is a Licence Required?


If you place your tables and chairs on an area of public highway outside your premises, a Licence (usually known as either a Pavement Licence/Tables and Chairs Licence/Temporary Street Trading Licence/Highways Amenity Licence) will be required.   


It is a Licence granted by the Local Authority which allows the licence holder to place tables, chairs, benches and other removable furniture on the public highway outside your premises for the purposes of patrons consuming food and/or drink purchased from the premises.


Is Planning Permission Required?


In some cases, yes. Planning permission will also be required to change the use of the highway to an outside seating area.


The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides the legal framework for all planning applications. You nearly always need planning permission to change from one use to another. The footway is part of the public highway, and planning permission can therefore be required for the use of part of it as, for example, an outside seating area.  This is alongside the need to apply for a Licence as well.


How Do I Apply?


Until the pandemic, Pavement Licences, or otherwise, were granted primarily under Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980. The fee for the Highways Act process varies between local authorities and there is a minimum 28 calendar day consultation period.


However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government introduced new legislation for fast-tracked pavement licences under the Business and Planning Act 2020.  This created a streamlined process to allow businesses to secure Pavement Licences more easily and quickly.  Application fees were capped at £100.00 and a reduced public consultation period of 7 days, instead of 28 days, was introduced.   


This was intended to be a temporary lifeline for pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes, and presented an opportunity for businesses in the hospitality sector to quickly replace lost indoor capacity during lockdown and then increase capacity to help businesses to thrive once restrictions ended.  


Initially an expiration date was set for 31st September 2021, however this has been extended each year since.  And on the 10 August 2023 ‘The Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2023’ came into force, and these regulations extended the existing Pavement Licence provisions once again to 30th September 2024.



Continue reading about Pavement and Highways Licences

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