Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Encouraging outdoor seating – Pavement Licence

Encouraging outdoor seating

Hertsmere Borough Council is keen to support our local businesses in the hospitality sector in preparation for easing of the COVID lockdown restrictions.

COVID regulations place restrictions on businesses in relation to social distancing. The new pavement licence outdoor seating proposal allows hospitality businesses to place tables and chairs on a public footpath.

Councillor Seamus Quilty, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “We recognise that the next few months are going to be crucial for the hospitality industry, that is why we are committed to doing all we can to help businesses with their recovery plans.

“The new process has been introduced as a streamlined and cheaper route for businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway. This will support them to operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place and help them secure income over the summer months to protect as many hospitality jobs as possible.”

In order to provide assistance to our business community during the recovery phase of the Coronavirus pandemic we are working closely with our colleagues in DfI to help businesses, ensuring that any new pavement café areas being set up are safe in terms of social distancing and that they allow pedestrians enough space to safely use the footpaths to move around our town centres.

Due to space restrictions some pavements outside premises may simply not be an option, however we are keen for our businesses to use public spaces within our town centres to facilitate street cafes and additional outdoor seating space.

For many licensed premises, such as pubs and restaurants, temporary changes to the law will allow them to sell alcohol for consumption off their premises until September 2021, in accordance with their sales of alcohol license. This is an automatic entitlement and businesses do not need permission from their local council’s licensing team, however they should update their local authority of the change.

If you are considering setting up a pavement café area on a public footpath outside your premises please visit our website:, which includes Frequently Asked Questions, a link to current legislation, the online application form and information on how to pay.

Applications will be online, along with a payment of £100. The licence has to be granted within 14 days of submission/validation otherwise it is automatically issued.

To find out more visit: or email: