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Cambridge City Council

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 under the Business and Planning Act 2020 in response to supporting business recovery following the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Secretary of State has used the enabling power in the Business and Planning Act to extend the duration of the temporary pavement licence provisions for 12 months to 30 September 2023. Amendments can be found on The Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulation 2022.

  • Current pavement licences that are due to expire on 30 September 2022 will not automatically be extended to 30 September 2023. If you would like your business to continue utilising Pavement Licence provisions beyond 30 September 2022, you will need to apply for a new licence under The Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amended) Regulations 2022.

Majority of New pavement licences will be granted with the expiry date of 30 September 2023. In some cases we will grant a license for a shorter period, this will be discussed with the applicant and will not be less than three months.

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 7-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 general public to comment.

Decision process

We will decide whether to grant your licence within 7 days of the consultation period ending.

If we accept your application and grant you a licence, it will be valid for 12 months or until 30 September 2022, whichever is shorter.

Tacit approval applies if we do not determine your application within 7 days, starting the day after the consultation period finishes. In this case, your licence will be valid for one year or until 30 September 2022, whichever comes first.

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 7-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

Section 5 of the pavement licence legislation explains more about national conditions. 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

Before you apply, you should make sure you are aware of the standard and national conditions.

We can only grant licences on streets included in the county council’s map of adopted highways – please check it before you apply. We do not grant licences on private land – you’ll need to arrange that with the landowner.

To complete the application, you will need to give us:

  • an email address and telephone number that we can use to communicate with you about your application
  • a plan showing the location of the premises shown by a red line, so we can identify the application site
  • a plan showing the dimensions of the proposed area the licence will cover. The plan must detail:
    • 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
  • a copy of your public liability insurance policy for £5m, covering planned activities in the location of the licence (insurance document must specify premises address, associated with 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
  • a plan of your current licenced area, if you currently hold a pavement licence from us

Your application will not be valid if you do not include all these documents.

Apply for a pavement licence

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