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Pavement licence

Apply for a licence to allow chairs and tables on the highway outside your premises

Relaxation to planning laws

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses across the economy. It's caused many to cease trading for several months. While others have had to significantly modify their operations.

As the economy starts to re-open, the Government has announced a relaxation to planning and licensing laws through the Business and Planning Act 2020. This will help the hospitality industry recover from the coronavirus lockdown by removing short-term obstacles that could get in their way.

The Business and Planning Act 2020

As lockdown restrictions are lifted, the Business and Planning Act 2020 makes it easier for premises serving food and drink (such as bars, restaurants and pubs) to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing. This will help while social distancing guidelines remain in place.

The Act introduces a temporary fast-track process for businesses to obtain permission in the form of a 'pavement licence'. The licence allows you to place furniture such as tables and chairs on the pavement outside your premises. This will help you maximise your capacity whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Currently, tables and chairs permissions are granted as Pavement licences by Norfolk County Council (the Highways Authority, under Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980). The fee varies between local authorities and there's a time consuming 28 day consultation period.

The new temporary measure places a cap on the application fee, and it introduces a new 10-day determination period. This ensures that businesses can get a cost-effective licence quickly, aiding to their financial recovery.

You can find further information by following the links below:

How much does it cost?

The pavement licence costs £75.

How to apply

If you wish to make an application for a pavement licence:

You'll need to upload your completed application from below by following the link 'Submit your pavement licence'. You must include supporting evidence, as outlined below.

To complete an application, you'll need:

  • a debit or credit card for the £75 fee (you can pay this when you upload the form. If your application is unsuccessful we won't take any money)
  • a plan showing the location of the premises shown by a red line, so we can clearly identify the application site
  • a plan clearly showing the highway area you're proposing to be covered by the licence (if it's not to scale, please clearly show measurements). The plan must show the positions and number of the proposed tables and chairs, together with any other items you wish to place on the highway. Clear measurements include, for example, pathway width/length, building width and any other fixed item in the proposed area
  • the proposed days of the week you wish to put furniture on the highway, and the times on each day
  • the proposed duration of the licence (for example, three months, six months, or a year)
  • evidence of the right to occupy the premises (for example, your lease)
  • photos or brochures showing the proposed type of furniture and information on where you will site it within the area you're applying for
  • reference to any existing pavement licence currently under consideration by the local authority (if applicable)
  • evidence that you've met the requirement to give notice of the application by displaying our site notice (for example photographs of the notice outside the premises and of the notice itself)
  • a copy of a current certificate of insurance that covers the activity for third party and public liability risks, to a minimum value of £5 million
  • any other evidence needed to demonstrate how you satisfy the conditions needed to grant a licence, both local and national

Submit your pavement licence


Once you've submitted your application, we have 10 working days (from the day after your make your application) to consult and decide on it.

There will be:

  • five working days for public consultation, and
  • five working days to consider and determine the application after the consultation

We can:

  • grant the licence for any or all of the purposes specified in the application
  • grant the licence for some or all of the part of the highway specified in the application and impose conditions, or
  • refuse the application

If we don't determine your application within the 10 working day period, it will be deemed to have been granted.