Apply for a pavement licence to put tables and chairs on the public highway

Pavement licence scheme extended to 2024

The government has extended the period of the current pavement licence scheme until 30 September 2024. The extended date will only apply to licence applications received from 10 August 2023. Holders of current pavement licences that expire on 30 September 2023 will need to apply for a new licence if they wish to continue trading under the pavement licence beyond 30 September 2023.

The government has also set out its intention to make the pavement licence scheme permanent in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

You need a pavement licence if your business wants to place furniture on the highway to sell or serve food and drink or allow it to be used to eat food or drink supplied from, or in connection with your premises.

A pavement licence costs £100, and must be paid when you submit your application.

How to apply

You can apply for a licence if you:

  • do not operate later than 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 11pm Friday and Saturday
  • have public liability insurance of £5 million
  • have the necessary permission if you intend to sell alcohol
  • ensure that clear access routes on the highway are maintained

Have the following available to upload. You will not be able to complete the application without them:

  • photo or brochures showing the proposed type of furniture
  • public liability insurance certificate to a minimum value of £5 million
  • a site plan to a suitable scale or with clear measurements

The plan will need to show:

  • the property boundary and proposed boundary of area to be covered by the pavement licence (with a red line to indicate the area to be licensed)
  • building and kerb lines
  • furniture layout
  • points of access and egress
  • position of any lighting columns, litter bins, road signs or other existing street furniture
  • areas designated as non-smoking, this includes vaping and e-cigarettes. We would encourage businesses to promote the area as non-smoking

You should review our standard conditions of licence before applying.

We're only able to accept applications submitted electronically.

A new application will need to be made each year as there is no renewal process for existing licences.

You'll be asked to register or log in to your account to make your application.

Apply now

If you need to use a parking bay

If you want to put tables and chairs out in a parking bay, as well as a pavement licence you'll also need to apply for a parking bay suspension. This is an additional process with separate fees.

View current applications

You can view summaries of current applications online.

For details relating to specific applications, email your request to [email protected].

Representations concerning any application must be submitted within 7 days of the date of the application.

What happens next

Once we receive your application we'll:

  • send you a public notice to display at your premises for 7 days, for which you'll be asked to provide photographic evidence
  • send a copy of your application to the Highways Service, Thames Valley Police, Environmental Health and any other party we consider is appropriate
  • use any feedback we receive after 7 days to consider your application, and notify you of our final decision within the following 7 days

We may grant or reject your application, but if granted, we may make changes or add conditions to the permitted purposes or area to be used.

We'll issue granted licences electronically and these will be subject to the council’s standard conditions.

You do not have a statutory right of appeal against a decision of the council under this act. You can challenge the decision through a legal route in the courts which is called a judicial review.

We also operate a compliments, feedback and complaints policy.

Further guidance

Help with your application

If you need any help or support with your application, email [email protected].