Temporary pavement licensing regime made permanent

02 Apr

It has been reported that the new pavement licence scheme contained in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 commenced on 31 March 2024. This substantially matches the temporary system created by the Business & Planning Act 2020, but with some notable changes, including:

  • Statutory fees of up to £500 for a new licence and £350 for renewals (Councils can set the fee levels up to these maximums)
  • Increase in duration of licences up to a maximum of 2 years
  • Increase in the consultation and determination periods – both increasing from 7 days to 14 days. In other words, applicants may have to wait for a period of up a 28 days to receive a determination
  • Extra enforcement powers for Councils

Updated Guidance has also been issued and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pavement-licences-draft-guidance/draft-guidance-pavement-licences-outdoor-seating-proposal

Of note, the new Guidance suggests that a minimum width of 2 metres clearway should typically be provided but that 1.5 metres is the minimum acceptable distance. The Guidance also references cumulative impact in relation to multiple pavement licences in close proximity, and in particular the needs of disabled people.

For those who hold a pavement licence already then those licences will remain in place until their expiry. Existing licences with no fixed end date will be extended for 2 years before needing renewal.

Should you require assistance in these matters then please contact one of our solicitors.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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