Apply for a free pavement licence

Bars, cafes and restaurants can apply for a free licence to place tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises until 30th September 2022. You can still apply for a regular three-year paid-for street cafe licence below. Find out how to apply for a pavement licence. 

Street cafe licence

A street cafe licence allows a food business to place tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises.

Licence conditions include specific furniture requirements, boundaries and appropriate space for passing pedestrians.

Before you apply, read our street cafe licence guidance notes which tells you more about the licence conditions.


The basic fee is £580 for a  three-year licence.

In locations where the council is landowner, such as the city centre, additional fees apply:

  • £10 per year for each table, or similar structure
  • £5 per year for each chair or number of people to be seated on a bench

How to apply

What happens next?

In most cases planning permission will not be required for a street cafe, but if is needed we will let you know once we have assessed your licence application.

Applications must meet the council's specification criteria for placing tables or chairs on the highway. Public notice of the application must be given detailing the proposal and deadline for representations.

Objections to any proposals will be presented to a council committee for consideration whether to issue the licence. You will be able to present your case for consideration a this committee.

Please read the guidance notes carefully and contact us if you need any further information or help.

If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

If your application is not approved

If you feel your application has been unreasonably withheld or if there is a disagreement about conditions attached to your application, please contact us in the first instance.  An appointed arbitrator will adjudicate any issues.