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Pavement cafe licence

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1. About pavement Cafe licences

If you wish to place tables and chairs on the pavement, you will need to obtain a Highway Licence (usually known as a Pavement Café Licence) from us.

There are new temporary procedures in place that were introduced in the Business and Planning Act 2020. These temporary procedures will allow businesses to secure Licences more quickly and allow these Licences to remain in place for up to a year (but not beyond 30 September 2021).

If you wish to serve alcohol you may also need a new premises licence, or a variation to your existing premises licence.

If you wish to place tables and chairs on land owned by us that is not a public highway or footpath, then please contact the estates department directly to discuss. You can mail the estates team on estates@exeter.gov.uk.

What does it cost? 

The fee for applying for a Licence under the new process is £100. The fee is non-refundable regardless of whether your application is successful.

How long will it take?

Applicants will need to post a notice on their premises for 5 business days. We will then determine whether the Licence will be granted within a further 5 business days.

How long are pavement licenses valid for?

Between 3 and 12 months.

What are the terms and conditions of the pavement café licence?

You must adhere to the standard terms of a pavement café licence.

Please note that we may impose additional conditions if we consider it appropriate to do so. These may include restricting the Operational Hours and/or Licence Period requested.

How will we determine an application?

In determining an application we will consider that there is enough room on the pavement for pedestrian access, including wheelchair users and pram access, and that there is adequate emergency access.   We will take into account feedback from the Highways Authority, Environmental Health and Licensing, Devon and Cornwall Police, the Planning Department, as well as any other service or organisation if we feel it is appropriate.  We will also publish details of the application on our website and invite feedback from members of the public.

Devon County Council has released guidance for street cafes, which provides more detailed guidance on what type of layouts are acceptable.

 All layouts will be subject to our approval.