Birmingham’s hospitality sector can now apply for a fast-tracked Temporary Pavement Licence

Published: Thursday, 30th July 2020

Hospitality businesses looking to maximise outdoor space for customers will soon be able to apply for a discounted Temporary Pavement Licence through a new fast track application system.

From today (Thursday 30 July), Birmingham City Council will begin accepting applications from businesses looking to place seating on public pavements directly outside their premises, as part of its commitment to support the hospitality sector recover from Covid-19.  

The Business and Planning Act, recently passed by parliament, has introduced Temporary Pavement Licences as a means of supporting the economy through a quicker, cheaper application process. The new Pavement Licences will be valid for up to 12 months, up until the end of September 2021, at a reduced cost of £100 and applications will be processed within 14 days (including a seven-day public consultation).

Cllr Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, said: “With businesses still required to comply with social distancing we know that they are keen to use as much space as possible to maximise capacity for customers.

“By introducing this fast-track system, applications will be processed quickly to enable businesses to reap the benefits as soon as possible. In addition, the reduced cost is intended to help hospitality businesses of all sizes as they begin to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.”

The new legislation won’t affect the use of land and gardens owned by businesses, however the licence is required for businesses to put outdoor furniture on the public highway for the sale and consumption of food and drink. If granted, the licence will state the amount of furniture which is allowed as well as the agreed hours.

Previously, pavement cafe licences were granted by local authorities under Part VIIA of the Highways Act 1980. The fee for this licence varies between local authorities (in Birmingham £856 for up to five tables or £1,255 for five tables or more) and there is a 28-day consultation period. While the ability to apply for these pavement café licences continue, the fee for the new Temporary Pavement Licence will be capped at £100 for all table numbers within a single application process.

Conditions of the new licence includes prohibiting smoking within the licensed area. Businesses will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the no-smoking conditions and failure to do so could result in their Pavement Licence being revoked.

Businesses will be able to apply for a new Pavement Licence from midday on Thursday, 30 July via the Birmingham City Council website.


Notes to Editors

Guidance to accompany pavement licensing was introduced in the Business and Planning Act 2020, discussed in Parliament on Monday 29 June and achieving Royal Assent on 22 July 2020.

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