Pavement licences

A pavement licence allows you to place removable furniture on certain highways (pavements) adjacent to the premises in relation to which the application was made.

You can use the furniture to sell or serve food or drink. Anything you sell must be supplied from or connected to the relevant use of the premises.

Your customers can use the furniture to consume the food or drink you sell. 

Where a pavement licence is granted, clear access routes on the highway will need to be maintained, taking into account the needs of all users, including disabled people.

Pavement licences were introduced in response to supporting business recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has now made the pavement licence provisions permanent. You can find more details on this in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023.

Current pavement licences that are due to expire on 30 September 2024 will not automatically be extended. You must apply for a new pavement licence under the Act if you want to continue using pavement licence provisions.

In most cases we will grant new licences for a period not exceeding two years. In some cases we will grant a licence for a shorter period. We will discuss this with you if it applies to your application.

Permitted furniture

The licence allows you to use the following furniture:

  • counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink
  • tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed
  • chairs, benches or other forms of seating
  • umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink

The furniture must be able to be moved easily, and stored away after licensable period, at end of the day.

Consultation process

If we agree that your application is valid, we’ll hold a 14-day consultation about it, beginning the day after you submit it.

We will consult with:

  • the highway authority (Cambridgeshire County Council)
  • the police and fire and rescue services
  • ward councillors
  • local businesses and residents
  • council officers

We will also publish the application and any associated information you submit with it online, to allow the public to comment.

Notice of application

On the day you submit your application, please display a temporary notice of application to your business premises. It must be visible to and readable by members of the public who are not on the premises.

The notice must remain in place until the end of the 14-day public consultation period.

We will deem your application invalid if your remove the notice during the consultation period. You will have to start the application process again.


We will apply standard conditions to every licence we grant, and those granted by tacit approval.

Two national conditions apply to every pavement licence that is granted or deemed to be granted:

  • a no-obstruction condition
  • a smoke-free seating condition

We will consider both standard and national conditions when determining your application.

We might attach specific extra conditions to some applications. We will discuss these with you before we grant your licence.

Apply for a licence

Download an application from the government website at the link below.

In section 8 of the form, please tell us:

  • what are the premises used for?
    • As a public house, wine bar or other drinking establishment
    • For the sale of food or drink, for consumption on or off the premises
    • Both of the above
  • what will the furniture be used for?
    • To sell or serve food or drink supplied from, or in connection with, the premises
    • For consuming food or drink supplied from, or in connection with, the premises
    • Both of the above

When you submit the form, you must also upload:

  • a plan showing the location of the premises with a red line, so we can identify the application site
  • a plan showing the dimensions of the proposed area that the licence will cover. The plan must also show:
    • the property boundary and proposed boundary of the area the licence will cover, with a red line showing the area to be licensed
    • the building and kerb lines
    • the furniture layout, with measurements clearly shown, including space between furniture
    • points of access and egress
    • the position of any lighting columns, litter bins, road signs or other existing street furniture
    • the area set aside for smoke-free seating
  • photos or brochure images showing what types of furniture you will use
  • a photo showing your notice of application on display where the public can easily see and read it, for example on the front window. You can download the notice from the link above
  • a copy of your public liability insurance policy for £5m, covering planned activities in the location of the licence. The document must specify the premises address associated with the licence applied for and the policy amount above £5m
  • a formal risk assessment if you intend to use heaters, as required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

You can upload documents in the following formats: DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TXT, XLS, or XLSX.

There is a £360 fee for a new pavement licence application. For an application to renew your pavement licence, the fee is £150. You will be taken to a Capita payment screen when you have uploaded your application form and supporting documents.

We cannot process your application if you do not include all the documents listed above.

Apply for a pavement licence

Decision process

We will decide whether to grant your licence within 14 days of the consultation period ending.

Tacit approval applies if we do not determine your application within 14 days, starting the day after the consultation period finishes. In this case, your licence will be valid for two years.

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