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Important

There is new information for businesses due to COVID-19. Check the latest updates.

How does the Tables and Chairs consent process work?

Outside dining has become ever more popular especially as many customers feel safer from Covid-19 infection. If you want to offer outside seating space, Table and Chairs consent is another way of obtaining the necessary licence.

What are the differences/similarities between Tables and Chairs consent and Pavement Licence Applications?

Apply for Tables and Chairs licence

The application process helps to ensure that adequate space is available for the safe and free movement of all highway users and that consideration is given to possible noise disturbance for local residents and business owners.

Here are some important points you need to consider when applying:

  • Please indicate in 'Your Reference' whether it's a Pavement Licence or Tables and Chairs application
  • Submit a clear and legible highway plan with dimensions of the relevant area and showing a clear 1.8m space to allow pedestrians to pass any tables and chairs area
  • Please also show any nearby street furniture, cabinets, streetlighting. This should include clearly labelled smoking and non-smoking sections in 50% of the proposed area
  • Businesses must submit evidence of £5m public liability insurance, which covers the additional seating area
  • Submit the premises COVID secure risk assessment, which should include any outdoor seating areas
  • Tables and chairs areas need to allow for customers to be able to adhere to social distancing guidance, please show this on the highway plan
  • Details of any furniture proposed, so the type and number of any items and layout proposed
  • Please ensure there are no standing drinking areas, customers must be seated
  • Specify that the purpose of the tables and chairs and other furniture will be to sell or consume food or drink
  • Specify the days of the week and the hours of each day that you intend to use the highway (pavement licences will only be granted for use between 8am and 11pm)
  • Specify the date of application

Conditions and requirements

Please carefully read our set of local conditions, which also include national conditions, ensuring accessibility for all, COVID-19 related guidance and enabling a smoke free area within the tables and chairs area. These outline the requirements and responsibilities for an applicant as well as outlining the potential reasons permission can be revoked or enforcement action can be taken by the relevant city council departments.

Who can apply?

  • Eligible business types: pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes, snack bars, coffee shops and ice cream parlours
  • Businesses who hold £5 million public liability insurance can apply for a licence
  • For further guidance of acceptable furniture and layouts see pavement cafe design guidance
  • Before making an application, please read impact on street lighting assets

Fees

  • New application £100 for one year
  • Renewal application £100 for one year
  • Revisions of existing permissions: free

Applications

You can apply online for a permit to place tables and chairs on the pavement or road (if the road space is available):

Apply for tables and chairs permit

Existing Tables and Chairs consent holders

Tell us about a change to your existing circumstances.

Consultation and advertising application

The consultation period is 28 days and a decision can be made within 14 days after the consultation has ended.