Sedgemoor District Council is reminding pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to apply for a ‘Pavement Licences’ so that they can serve food and drink outside of their establishments, to help businesses recover post-lockdown.
Under new government regulations, Sedgemoor is now able to offer a quick, cut-price application process. Hospitality businesses keen to maximise capacity, while still observing social distancing guidelines, will now find it easier and cheaper to obtain permission to place tables and chairs on pavements outside their premises.
Pavement Licences are normally granted by Somerset County Council, as the Highways Authority. But the Government – in seeking to speed things up – temporarily transferred responsibility to distribute these licences to District Councils in Somerset, including Sedgemoor.
The move reduces application periods for Pavement Licences by 50%, from 28 calendar days to 14 days (this includes a seven-day consultation, plus seven-day determination period by the local authority) and the cost is just £100 each; a significant reduction in cost.
Staff from Sedgemoor have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure these licences can be processed without delay, now that legislation has been passed by Parliament on 22 July, 2020.
Full details and online application can be found here: Application for a pavement licence
- There are enforcement powers contained in The Bill to enable district councils to attach conditions, and to revoke licences for breaches of conditions, for example excess noise or litter or other anti-social behaviour.
- Local authorities may refuse an application on the basis of obstruction to traffic, and on public safety grounds.
- The measures included in The Bill supersede the existing framework but do not impact on those licences already issued under that Act.
- Once granted, a Pavement Licence will be valid for a limited period of not less than three months, and none will go beyond 30 September, 2021.
- Full reopening guidance for Pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and takeaways can be found on the Government Website.