A pavement licence allows cafes, pubs, bars or restaurants to place tables, chairs and other removable furniture on a public pavement outside their premises.

Apply for a new pavement licence

In 2020, through the Business and Planning Act, the government introduced temporary permission to place furniture such as tables and chairs on the highway. This type of permission, a pavement licence, is in place until 30 September 2024.

Pavement licence terms

The pavement licence costs £100. You need to pay when you apply.  

If we grant you a licence, it will be subject to our standard terms and conditions. A licence, if granted, must: 

  • make sure furniture does not obstruct the pavement or road 
  • have a minimum passing width of 1.5m (2m is preferable)
  • not stop access for essential work to take place, for example, work by water, gas, electricity or communications networks 
  • make sure there is enough space for non-smokers

Furniture cannot cause an obstruction or pose a danger, so we may need to introduce other conditions to make sure your pavement licence does not cause problems for local businesses and the community.

How to apply 

Before you apply, make sure you have the following supporting documents: 

  • evidence of public liability insurance for a minimum of £5 million
  • location details
  • a site plan to scale
  • images of the furniture you want to place outside your premises

Apply online

What happens next 

There is a 7-day public consultation starting the day after you apply. This involves displaying a notice in the window of your premises advertising your application.  

We will let you know our decision within 14 days. We'll grant your licence if we do not contact you within this time. 

There is no right of appeal if we refuse to grant a licence. 

Existing pavement cafe or shopfront licences

Premises with pavement cafe or shopfront licences issued under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 are still valid.

You can use the application process under the Business and Planning Act 2020 to extend or add new areas for tables, chairs or other furniture.

You can apply for the new pavement licence instead of your existing licence permission. 

The temporary pavement licence period ends on 30 September 2024. You must make a new application if you let your existing licensing permission lapse. You cannot apply for a renewal.

This process may require new planning permission and will be longer and potentially more expensive than retaining and renewing your existing licence. 

Renew a pavement licence

If your pavement licence is due to expire, you can use our online form to renew and pay for a new one.  A renewal costs £100.

There is a 7-day public consultation starting the day after you apply. This involves displaying a notice in the window of your premises advertising your application. 

If we receive an objection, we have another 7 days to decide. If granted, the renewed licence lasts until 30 September 2024.

You must apply for a new licence if you want to make changes. This includes changing:

  • area you want licensed
  • hours you want to use the area 
  • type of furniture, or adding more
  • name or address of the licence holder

Renew your licence 

Current applications

When businesses apply for temporary pavement licences, the application will appear below during the 7-day consultation period. 

Type of application: Pavement Licence
Deadline for representations: