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

Pubs, restaurants, wine bars and cafés may wish to have seating and tables outside their premises for the use of their customers.

Where the pavement concerned is part of the public highway, a licence must be obtained.

There are now two ways to do this, via the existing Highways Act 1980 Tables and Chairs consent via the below links or the newer and quicker Business and Planning Act 2020, using the Pavement Licence application process which became law on the 22 July 2020.

This is to ensure that adequate space is available for the safe and free movement of all highway users and that consideration is given to the location of the amenity in terms of possible noise disturbance for local residents and business owners. 

The term 'public highway' includes roads, pavements and verges.

Who can apply?

Businesses who hold £5 million public liability insurance can apply for a licence.

Permission conditions to occupy the Highway with tables and chairs
Pavement café design guidance

Before making an application, please read impact on street lighting assets.


  • New application £100 for one year
  • Renewal application £100 for one year


Apply for a permit to place tables and chairs on the pavement or road
Tell us about a change to your existing circumstances