Wood Street Bar & Restaurant application for a pavement licence

The application was for a pavement licence to set up 60 table places directly outside the bar “to be used by persons for consumption of food or drink” on the following days and times: Monday-Friday 11.30am – 7.30pm and Saturday-Sunday 11.30am- 5.30pm.

Following receipt of a spate of objections we learned that the application had been temporarily withdrawn, although as Mary Durcan CC commented,

“I gather this application has now been withdrawn but that another application will be submitted in a few days’ time.”

We would remind that this a pavement licence, not a planning application and that pavement licences are granted under new legislation introduced by the Government during the pandemic (see below for details).

As all residents will be aware, the concrete amphitheatre effect of groups of people directly outside residents’ premises smoking and drinking is likely to be substantial. There has, as far as I am aware, still been no consultation with residents or the BA.

This is the full Government guide to pavement licences.

However, life is short and so some of the key points are:

What is a pavement licence and how long is it valid for?

A pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority… which allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises….. This is a streamlined process to allow businesses to secure these licences in time for the summer and, where they are deemed to have been granted, allow these licences to remain in place for a year but not beyond 30 September 2021. 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.

Planning permission not required

Once a licence is granted, or deemed to be granted, the applicant will also benefit from deemed planning permission to use the land for anything done pursuant to the licence while the licence is valid.

Very quick consultation process

Pavement licences are presently granted primarily under Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980. The fee for applying for a licence under the new process is capped at £100 and the consultation period is 5 working days (excluding public holidays) starting the day after the application is sent electronically to the authority.

If the local authority does not determine the application before the end of the determination period the licence is deemed to have been granted for a year (but not beyond 30 September 2021) and the business can place the proposed furniture such as tables and chairs within the area set out in the application for the purpose or purposes proposed.

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