Pavement Licences

Pavement Licences

Business and Planning Act 2020

On the 22nd July 2020 The Business and Planning Act 2020 was enacted. The Act effects both pavement café provision and the off-sales of alcohol.

It introduced a simpler and more expedited licensing process for businesses such as bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés who may wish to use the public highway as an outdoor seating area.

On 10th August 2023 the Government  passed the Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 which extend the expiry date of pavement licences until 30th September 2024. 

What is a Pavement Licence?

A pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority which allows the licence holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises in relation to which the application was made, for certain purposes.

Planning permission for removable furniture is not required.

The Council must ensure that the public’s right to use the highway is not detrimentally affected if a licence is granted to operate a licensed area on the pavement. 

The area must be located, designed and managed in a way that takes into account the needs of all highway users, including disabled people.

It is recommended that you liaise with neighbouring businesses and occupiers prior to applying to the licensing authority to address any potential issues in your application.

Government guidance is available at

Who can apply for a pavement licence?

A business which uses (or proposes to use) premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption (on or off the premises) can apply for a licence. 

Businesses that are eligible include:

  • Public Houses
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Cafes
  • Snack Bars
  • Coffee Shops
  • Ice Cream Parlours

Premises that have ancillary aspects such as supermarkets and entertainment venues that that sell food and drink may also apply.

Conditions and requirements

A pavement licence is subject to national and locally imposed standard conditions.

A full list of standard pavement cafe licence conditions can be found here.

Pavement licence applications must meet the following requirements:

  • Specify the premises and where on the highway you intend to place tables, chairs and any other furniture.
  • Specify that the purposes of the tables and chairs will be for the consumption of food and/or drink (in connection with the relevant use of the premises).  Where you wish to sell alcohol it will require application for a premises licence or where there is already one in place, a variation application must be submitted to include the outside area.
  • Specify the days of the week and the hours of each day that you intend to use the highway.  Whilst standard conditions permit 09:00 to 23:00, these hours may be subject to change as part of the consultation process. Each application will be considered on its own merits.
  • Provide a scale plan of proposed area, its relationship to existing buildings and any obstruction on the highway.
  • Enclose proof of public liability insurance in the sum of £10 million (£5 million if the premises is located outside of the City Centre parking meter zone) for the operation of a pavement licence.

The grant of a pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway; other regulatory frameworks still apply such as the need for alcohol licences and the need for food business registration.

If an applicant breaches any condition of the licence then the Council may revoke the licence or will serve on the licensee a notice requiring the breach to be remedied. 

If the breach is not remedied then the Council will undertake works to remedy the breach and recover the costs of doing so form the licensee. 

The licence may also be revoked if all or any part of the highway to which the licence relates has become unsuitable for any purpose for which the licence was granted

Making an application

A pavement licence costs £100. This must be paid at the time the application is submitted.  (This is a non-refundable fee, even where the application is refused).

The application will be subject to a public consultation period of 7 days starting on the day after a valid application is made.  During this time the application will be advertised on the Council’s website.

To apply for a pavement cafe license please fill out the form here.

The determination period is seven days beginning with the first day after the end of the consultation period.

If granted the licence will be valid until 30th September 2024 subject to the outcome of the consultation period.  Licences will be granted for a minimum of 3 months.

Displaying a public notice

A public notice must be displayed on the premises the day that the application is made, with the consultation period running for 7 days starting from the next working day after the application is made(excluding public holidays).

Public Notice Template

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does apply.

Once the information is submitted and validated, the Licensing Authority has 10 working days from the day after the application is made (excluding public holidays) to consult on and determine the application.  This consists of 5 working days for public consultation and then 5 working days to consider and determine the application further to consultation.

If the licensing authority does not determine the application within the 10 working day period, the application will be deemed to have been granted and it will be subject to the published standard conditions.


If you need advice or have questions relating to pavement licences contact:

Newcastle City Council Licensing Authority, Public Safety & Regulation, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH

Tel. 0191 278 7878


Did you know?

On the 22 July 2020 The Business and Planning Act 2020 was enacted. The Act effects both pavement café provision and the off-sales of alcohol. For more information  go to Guidance (external website)

Need more information?

To contact the licensing authority write to Licensing Authority, Public Safety and Regulation, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8QH or email

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