Pavement licences

Businesses are now able to apply for a Temporary Pavement Licence. This licence allows eligible businesses to place removable chairs and tables in the outdoor area next to their premises so that food and drinks can be served outside.

Is a Pavement Licence right for my business?

The idea behind this is to help food and drink businesses bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis by giving them the opportunity to provide an al fresco dining or drinking experience for their customers where social distancing arrangements can be put in place more easily.

Pavement licence flow tree

What businesses are eligible?

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, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours and where such uses form an ancillary aspect of another use, for example supermarkets, or entertainment venues which sell food and drink.

How much will a Pavement Licence cost?

To help support businesses Hambleton District Council has chosen to make Pavement Licences available free of charge.

Which areas is a Pavement Licence applicable to?

A Pavement Licence is issued for land controlled by North Yorkshire County Council (as the local Highway Authority) and does not give permission for such activity on private land or that controlled by any other authority or trust. The ‘land’ in this instance is:

  • Footpaths or pavements restricted to pedestrians (please see specific exclusions below)
  • Roads and places to which vehicle access is restricted or prohibited

Which areas are NOT eligible for a Pavement Licence?

  • A pavement licence DOES NOT allow the use of:
    • Private land – including privately owned shopping arcades and alleyways.
    • Parking bays
    • Cobbled areas
    • Grass verges
    • Active roads
    • Car parks

Highways maintained by Network Rail or Crown land are exempt (so a licence cannot be granted).

What to do if the area you wish to use does not qualify for a Pavement Licence?

If the area you wish to use is not eligible for a Pavement Licence or you are unsure, please email details of your query to . One of our colleagues will be able to advise you on the best route for your business.

How can I give my application the best chance of success?

  • Before completing an application make sure that the area you are proposing to use is eligible for a Pavement Licence. (Please refer to the list above.)
  • Read the guidance documents carefully prior to making your application
  • It is important that your proposal does not obstruct the use of the pavement for others. Check that you have allowed for a 2.0-metre-wide unobstructed pedestrian route in your proposal. If not, your application will be rejected.
  • Make sure that you have completed all relevant sections of the application before submitting the application for consideration. You can use the checklist provided. Incomplete applications will be considered invalid and will delay the processing of your application.
  • Hand drawn site plans are acceptable however please make sure they are clearly labelled, and the measurements submitted are accurate.
  • Submit your application and supporting material in a timely manner. If you must send your application as multiple emails, let us know what information we should have received so that we can confirm that we have received all your documents.
  • Where possible submit your application and supporting documents as pdf, word document, jpeg or png files. We can accept alternative file types however you may be asked to re-submit your application or supporting documents if we are unable to open them. This may delay your application.
  • If you are re-applying for a licence following an ‘application rejected’ decision you should complete and submit a new licence application and send new copies of your relevant supporting documents.

Important Considerations - Safety

We ask all pavement licence applicants to consider the following:

· It is important that people who are seated in the area subject to a pavement licence application can have good natural surveillance - by having unobstructed views in all directions along the highway. So that they can react immediately to any developing incident which presents a threat to safety.

Those occupying the area subject to a pavement licence application should be able to disperse quickly and safely in the event of an immediate incident which presents a threat to safety.

  • It is recommended that business make reference to the Crowded Places Guidance on the National Counter Terrorism Security Office website visit This provides detailed national guidance for the management of safety and security. The ACT App which features prominently on the webpage – is recommended and can be downloaded for free.
  • It is recommended that business owners, site managers and staff undertake the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) ACT E-Learning course. The training is free and available online.
  • Consider taking out insurance which covers you from acts of terrorism. Insurance against the damage caused by terrorist acts is generally available - but typically at an additional premium.

Hambleton District Council cannot endorse or recommend a particular insurance company or product.

Smoking and outdoor seating

From July 2021 onwards Hambleton District Council pavement licence now include a smoke free condition. Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death, it reduces life expectancy and quality of life, and the latest report shows that 94,000 people in England died of a smoking related cause last year.

The smoke free seating condition requires a licence-holder to make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted. This means that where businesses provide for smokers, customers will also have the option of sitting in a non-smoking area.

It seeks to ensure customers have greater choice, in order to protect public health by reducing risks of COVID transmission. It is important that businesses can cater to their customers’ preferences. Ways of meeting this condition could include:

  • Clear ‘smoking’ and ‘non-smoking’ areas, with ‘no smoking’ signage displayed in designated ‘smoke-free’ zones in accordance with Smoke-free (signs) regulations 2012 which can be viewed here: The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2012 (
  • No ash trays or similar containers to be provided or permitted to be left on furniture where smoke free seating is identified.
  • Licence holders should provide a minimum 2M distance between non-smoking and smoking areas, wherever possible.

Business can choose to go further and make 100% smoke free seating a condition of their licence

Current pavement licence applications and consultation information

More information »


Guidance for making an application for a Pavement Licence on the Public Highway

This guidance relates to applications made as part of the Interim Licence arrangements relative to Covid 19 Restrictions, under the BUSINESS AND PLANNING ACT 2020

NOTE: This application is for a licence for land controlled by North Yorkshire County Council as the local Highway Authority and does not give permission for such activity on private land or that controlled by any other authority.

How to apply

Read this guidance thoroughly in the first instance, it should provide you with all the information you need to make an application for a Pavement Licence as permitted under the Business and Planning Act 2020.

Licences granted under this legislation will not be granted beyond 30 September 2023. The Council intends to issue licences for successful applications to run the full allowed term, that is until September 2023; the Council will hold the right within the licence period to review and amend the conditions of the licence.

Any business that currently serves, or proposes to serve food or drinks can apply for a temporary pavement licence. This licence would allow them to place removable furniture (such as chairs, tables or serving counters) adjacent to their business so that food and drinks can be served or consumed outside.

The area that the pavement licence defines must be enclosed with boundary railings with both a hand and tapping rail to assist people with impaired vision to recognise the perimeter.

There is a Highways requirement that pedestrian routes remain safe and unobstructed. This requires a 2-metre wide unobstructed pedestrian route shall be maintained for those who need to pass the premises.

If you have already submitted an application for a pavement licence and the determination period has not yet expired you may not make another application for the same premises until the determination period has expired. The determination period is fourteen days, beginning from the day after you have submitted your application.

Download the application form here:

Please read the application form thoroughly and note the Conditions of Permission which are attached to the end of the form. This will give you an idea of what is permissible to operate under a Pavement Licence.

There are a number of sections you must complete. All information requested must be submitted with your application for the application to be considered valid, you will be advised by the next working day if this is not the case and you will be asked to resubmit with the relevant information.

You must complete the first two boxes, stating the date you are making the application and advising if you have an application for a North Yorkshire County Council Street Café Licence currently pending.

The table below shows you what information must be provided in each of the further sections of the form and identifies if there is any documentation you must supply:

Part Information required Additional documentation required?

Insert the name and contact details of the person who is making the application.


Identify the details of the premises that the Pavement Licence application relates to.


Provide details of the area of the public highway you are proposing to use. If this is the same as the details in Part B, tick the box, no need to repeat the address.

Give the dimensions of the area you are applying to licence.

Answer the Yes/No questions:

  • Does the area extend beyond the frontage of your own premise?

If Yes, you will need to submit written confirmation of your neighbour(s) agreement to your proposal

  • Does your proposal leave a 2.0-metre-wide unobstructed pedestrian route?


(if applicable)


Use the tick boxes to identify the purposes for which you are applying for the licence and using removable furniture:

  • To sell or serve food and/or drink


  • For the consumption of food and/or drink.


Identify which days and between what times you are proposing to locate furniture on the highway and to operate using the pavement licence.

Please Note: You may only apply between 08.00 and 22.00. However, time/duration of operation under licence may be restricted by condition where needed to make it possible to approve an application which would otherwise be deemed unacceptable.

If you are proposing to do this as a seasonal activity, please state the dates which you propose to operate between.

Answer the Yes/No question to advise if you are proposing to allow alcoholic drinks to be served and/or consumed within the area please.

If Yes, you will need to state your Premise Licence Number, Designated Premise Supervisor’s Name and Personal Licence Number.


Identify the type and numbers of furniture you are proposing to place in the designated pavement licence area as follows:

1. Proposed number of tables

2. Proposed number of chairs/benches or other forms of seating

3. Proposed number of Counters, Stalls or Shelves.

You must provide details of the proposed type of furniture, including design information, dimensions and colour.

You must also supply either photographs of the furniture you will be using or a link to the website of where you are intending to purchase the furniture from.


The area you are proposing to use to undertake your business activities must be enclosed. Please provide photographs or manufacturer’s illustration of barriers, you may provide a link to the website from which you have or are intending to purchase the barriers from.

Note: The licenced area must be defined with boundary railings with both a hand and tapping rail to assist people with impaired vision to recognise the perimeter.


You must provide a site layout plan to scale of your proposal. The plan should show up to 2 metres around the edge of your proposed licenced area.

It should include the following details:

  • Access points

  • Entrances/exits to the premises within or adjacent to the proposed area

  • Boundaries

  • Position of the kerb line adjacent to the proposed area

  • Dimensions of the proposed area

  • Furniture arrangement

  • Location of trees, lamp posts and other street furniture within 2 meters of the proposed licensed area


Please answer the series of Yes/No questions:

  • Have you taken the needs of disabled customers into consideration?

  • Have you reviewed your staffing situation to ensure that you have sufficient staff to adequately manage the increased area?

  • Have you put a cleaning schedule in place?

  • Do you currently have public liability insurance of £5,000,000 (five million pounds) and are you prepared to indemnify the Council against any claims arising from the café being located on the highway?

If yes, please forward copies of your original certificate of insurance that covers the pavement café activity for third party and public liability risks of £5,000,000 and indemnifies the Council when the pavement consent is in use.

If NO, you will need to arrange the necessary insurance before a licence can be granted.

  • Have you updated your COVID risk assessment to cover the pavement licence area? (this should include the use of SIA doors staff, management of non-compliance of social distancing rules, cleaning regime, table service etc?


The applicant needs to sign the application and declaration that they are over 18 years of age and that the information, is to the best of their knowledge, accurate and correct.


This is a checklist of supporting documents that are required for your application to be valid. Please carefully check that you have all supporting documents attached to your application email.


Pavement Licence application submissions are by email only and should be sent to:

Following your application submission you need to display a site notice which details that you have made an application for a Pavement Licence. The notice must be displayed on the premises to which it relates and must be easily visible and legible to the public.

You must ensure the notice remains in place for a period of seven days beginning with the day after you have submitted your application to the council. This is the consultation period.

You can download the required site notice template here:

No on template Information to be included

Name of applicant


Date the application is made (i.e. the date you submit the application)


Postal address of the premises for which the application is being made


The name by which the premises is known


Brief description of the application

(e.g. outdoor seating to the front of the premises for the serving of food and drink).


Last date for representations – being the date 7 days after the date the application is submitted to the local authority, excluding public holidays.

(This is 7 days after the date you submitted at (2)).


The date the notice was signed and placed in situ.

(This should be the same date as at (2)).

You must then provide photographs by email of the notice affixed to the premises to:

Once we receive an application there will be a seven day consultation window so people can feed in their views, followed by a seven day decision making period. If time runs out during this decision making period, and Hambleton District Council does not manage to assess an application for whatever reason, that business will automatically be granted their pavement licence for one year, but not beyond 30 September 2023.

 When considering whether to grant a pavement licence, we will need to consider a number of factors such as:

  • public health and safety including security – for example, ensuring that uses conform with latest guidance on social distancing and any reasonable crowd management measures needed as a result of a licence being granted and businesses reopening;
  • public amenity – will the proposed use create nuisance to neighbouring occupiers by generating anti-social behaviour and litter; and
  • accessibility – taking a proportionate approach to considering the nature of the site in relation to which the application for a licence is made, its surroundings and its users, taking account of:
    • considerations under the no-obstruction condition, in particular considering the needs of disabled people;
    • any other temporary measures in place that may be relevant to the proposal, for example, the reallocation of road space. This could include pedestrianised streets and any subsequent reallocation of this space to vehicles;
    • any other social distancing measures in place, for example any queuing systems that limit the space available on the pavement;
    • whether there are other permanent street furniture or fixed structures in place on the footway that already reduce access; and
    • other users of the space, for example if there are high levels of pedestrian or cycle movements.

There are a number of statutory conditions that are applicable to all licences including a ‘no obstruction’ condition referred to in sections 5(4) and 3(6) of the legislation as well as a ’smoke-free’ seating condition. The Secretary of State may specify conditions for pavement licences in Regulations and these would be also be considered. Further information that will assist with understanding these can be found on the government guidance, which is linked at the top of this page.

Local conditions exist which are listed at the end of the Application Form and give you an idea of what is permissible under the Pavement Licence.

Additional conditions may be applied as a result of representations received during the consultation period, these would be applied in situations to make it possible to approve an application would which would otherwise be deemed unacceptable.


Any applicant wishing to amend a Pavement Licence that has already been granted should complete and submit new licence application with the relevant amendments made. This will be treated as a new application. The new application will follow the same rules and processes as a normal application including the seven day consultation period.


If your application for a Pavement Licence is declined you may appeal the decision within five working days of the decision being sent to you. Appeals must be made in writing and clearly state the reason you wish to appeal to:

The granting of a pavement licence does not remove the need for the business to comply with other regulatory frameworks such as the need for alcohol licences and the need to comply with registration requirements for food businesses. This licence only permits the placing of removable furniture on the highway for the purpose of serving or consuming food or drink.


If any condition imposed on a licence (either by the local authority or nationally is breached then the local authority will be able to issue a notice requiring that the breach is remedied, the authority can also take action to cover any costs.

A licence may be revoked in the following circumstances:

a. For breach of condition (whether or not a remediation notice has been issued) or

b. Where:

  1. there are risks to public health or safety
  2.  this use of the highway is causing an unacceptable obstruction, breaching the non-obstruction condition – for example, the arrangement of street furniture prevents disabled people, older people or a wheelchair users to pass along the highway or have normal access to the premises alongside the highway.
  3. the use is causing anti-social behaviour or public nuisance – for example, the use is increasing the amount of noise generated late at night and litter is not being cleaned up;
  4. it comes to light that the applicant provided false or misleading statements in their application – for example they are operating a stall selling hot food and had applied for tables and chairs on which drinks could be consumed; or
  5. the applicant did not comply with the requirement to affix the notice to notify the public for the relevant period.

The local authority may also revoke the licence where all or any part of the area of the relevant highway to which the licence relates has become unsuitable for any purpose for which the licence was granted or deemed to be granted. For example, the licensed area (or road adjacent) is no longer to be pedestrianised. It is good practice for local authorities to give reasons where these powers are used.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 there is a requirement which would enable the Licensing Authority (Hambleton District Council) to ensure there was an appropriate distance between street furniture sited in the licensable area.

In accordance with these Regulations a person responsible for carrying on a business of a public house, café, restaurant or other relevant business must, during the emergency period, take all reasonable measures to ensure that an appropriate distance is maintained between tables occupied by different qualifying groups.

For the purposes of this regulation an “appropriate distance” means a distance between tables of:

  1. at least two metres, or
  2. at least one metre, if:
    • there are barriers or screens between tables;
    • the tables are arranged with back to back seating, or otherwise arranged to ensure that persons sitting at one table do not face any person sitting at another table at a distance of less than two metres; or
    • other measures are taken to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus between people sitting at different tables;

Further details of the new regulations can be found here:

Contact us

For advice about food safety regulations contact our Environmental Health team by email or telephone:

Further information

If you require specific information about Pavement Licences please contact the team via email with your query and contact details: 

A member of the team will come back to you as soon as possible.

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