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Pavement Licences Extended to Aid Hospitality Industry

10th March 2021

The government has announced that permits allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to trade on public pavements will be expanded to attract more customers as the businesses resume operation.

Easily obtainable ‘speedy’ pavement licences were first introduced in the summer of 2020 and authorised businesses in the food and drink industry to quickly place removable furniture outside on highways adjacent to the premises.

Costing a maximum of £100, they were designed to last between 3-12 months when first introduced in 2020.

Any new iterations of the licence are due to expire on 30th September 2021.

However, Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has urged local councils to prepare to issue more licences ahead of the 12th April, when hospitality businesses can begin to serve customers outdoors in line with the recovery roadmap.

Mr. Jenrick is also hoping the pavement licence will be extended for at least another year after its September expiry and those who already have it will not have to apply for a new one, though this is subject to Parliamentary approval.

A letter sent to local councils and industry leaders by Mr. Jenrick promised “a great British summer” of economic prosperity and was welcomed by the representative body, UK Hospitality.

The letter also promised other measures which will ease the process for hospitality businesses hoping to open as outdoor establishments:

  • Greater flexibility for land to be used for temporary events without planning permission
  • Outdoor markets and car-boot sales to go ahead without planning permission
  • Planning rules relaxed to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue to operate as takeaways

There has also been talk that some pubs will be able to use carparks as outdoor areas for serving customers, subject to approval.

With such support schemes in place, it is hoped businesses in the hospitality sector will be able to easily make use of outdoor spaces during the summer months to help achieve sufficient trade levels once they have re-opened. 

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