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Cafes, restaurants, pubs, snack bars and the like will benefit from plans to make the temporary COVID-related pavement licence scheme for ‘removable pavement furniture’ permanent, but face increased licence fees from 30 September 2022.
Instead of expiring on 30 September 2022 as originally planned, the scheme will continue but with some changes.
Characteristics of the current scheme, designed to provide support to hard-pressed hospitality businesses, include a fast-track application process (with a reduced public consultation period) and low fees, with licences running for up to a year.
A licence covers use of, for example, tables, chairs, benches, counters or shelves for food or drink, umbrellas, heaters and barriers.
Under the revised scheme, local authorities will be able to grant two-year licences, but charges for licence renewals will rise from £100 to £350, and applicants for a new licence will have to pay £500.
Kirsty Jackson, Partner and Head of our Commercial Property team commented: “A business whose existing pavement licence is due to expire before 30 September should consider applying to renew it before then to benefit from current, lower fees. Businesses with existing table and chair licences should consider converting them to pavement licences before 30 September, as fees are likely to be lower, and those without either should consider whether to apply for one before the increased charges come in.”