A pavement licence allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises in relation to which the application was made, for certain purposes.

This new process introduces a streamlined and cheaper route for businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway and operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place from Covid-19.

The following furniture is permitted under a pavement licence and all furniture must be removable, or stored away each evening and not a fixed permanent structure:

  • 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; and umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.

Please read our pavement licence guidance and conditions before making your application.

Application process

You can apply for a pavement licence by completing our online form:

When you apply you must provide the following information:

  • The location and name of the premises that the application is for
  • A plan showing the location of the premises shown by a red line, so the application site can be clearly identified
  • a plan clearly showing the proposed area covered by the licence in relation to the highway, if not to scale, with measurements clearly shown.  The plan must show the positions and number of the proposed tables and chairs, together with any other items that they wish to place on the highway. The plan must include clear measurements of, for example, pathway width/length, building width and any other fixed item in the proposed area.
  • Whether the licence is for selling food and drink or just the consumption of food and drink (the food and drink must be supplied by the premises).
  • The days and times during the week the licence is for
  • All pavement licences will expire on 30th September 2024
  • From 1st April 2024 a fee of £214 will be charged.
  • The type of furniture used for the licence
  • You will also need to provide copies of: Public Liability Insurance, a plan of the pavement licence area and a copy of your right to occupy the premises (e.g lease).

All of the above information and documents must be provided before your application can be determined.

Details of your application submitted online will be emailed to you. Please keep these safe.

Renewing a Pavement Licence

If your pavement licence expires before 30th September 2024 you will need to renew it. You can renew your pavement licence online here:

Public Notice

Once you have applied online and all your documents have been received, you will be emailed a link to download a notice that must be displayed in a prominent place on the premises, such as in the window.

The notice will include:

  • The name of the premises applying for the licence
  • An application reference and date
  • The date the application consultation period ends
  • An email address to which consultations can be made

We encourage applicants to talk to neighbouring businesses and occupiers prior to applying to the local authority, and so take any issues are taken into consideration.

Consultation period

Once your application has been correctly submitted and a notice displayed it will enter a consultation period for 10 working days (beginning with the working day after your application, excluding public holidays).

  • The first 5 working days are for public consultation
  • The next 5 working days are for the council to consider and determine your application after the public consultation

Your application may be sent to Environmental Health, East Sussex Highways and East Sussex Police Licensing as part of this consultation process.

When determining your application after the consultation processes the council will consider:

  • Public health and safety – for example, ensuring that uses conform with latest guidance on social distancing and any reasonable crowd management measures needed as a result of a licence being granted and businesses reopening;
  • Public amenity – will the proposed use create nuisance to neighbouring occupiers by generating anti-social behaviour and litter;
  • Accessibility – taking a proportionate approach to considering the nature of the site in relation to which the application for a licence is made, its surroundings and its users, taking account of:
  • Any other temporary measures in place that may be relevant to the proposal, for example, the reallocation of road space. This could include pedestrianised streets and any subsequent reallocation of this space to vehicles;
  • Whether there are other permanent street furniture or structures in place on the footway that already reduce access;
  • The recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by mobility impaired and visually impaired people as set out in Section 3.1 of Inclusive Mobility, and
  • Other users of the space, for example if there are high levels of pedestrian or cycle movements.

If the council does not determine the application by the end of the 10 working days then it is deemed to have been granted.

If the local authority determines the application before the end of the determination period the local authority can:

  • Grant the licence
  • grant the licence for some or all of the part of the highway specified in the application, and impose conditions, or
  • Refuse the application

Licence period

Currently all pavement licences are valid until 30 September 2024 unless otherwise stated in the conditions when your application is granted.

If a licence is ‘deemed’ granted because the authority does not make a decision on an application before the end of the determination period, then the licence will be valid for a year.

Public Register

To see a list of Pavement Licence applications that are in the public consultation period, which lasts for 5 working days after the date of application, please see our public register:

Pavement Licence complaints

If you would like to make a complaint about a premises with a pavement licence, such as obstruction to the pavement, please contact licensing@rother.gov.uk.

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