Pavement Licensing


The Business and Planning Act 2020 is being enacted by Government to assist some businesses to re-establish themselves in currently difficult circumstances.

Provision has been made for a fast track process to allow business owners to apply for a single permission to utilise highways space adjacent to their premises for the consumption of food and drink.

A business which uses (or proposes to use) premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption (on or off the premises) can apply for a licence. Businesses that are eligible include: public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours.

A licence permits the business to use furniture placed on the highway to sell or serve food or drink and/or allow it to be used by people for consumption of food or drink supplied from, or in connection with the use of the premises.

Licences can only be granted in respect of highways listed in section 115A(1) Highways Act 1980. Generally, these are footpaths restricted to pedestrians or are roads and places to which vehicle access is restricted or prohibited. Highways maintained by Network Rail or over the Crown land are exempt (so a licence cannot be granted).

Applications are subject to a 7 day consultation plus a 7 day determination period.

Before making an application please refer to our policy Pavement Licensing Policy 230720.pdf [pdf] 704KB and ensure the criteria can be met. This includes details of what type of furniture may be placed on the highway and when. Do not send in photos of furniture which depicts members of the public or staff sitting/standing or in view of the furniture.  

Applications must be complete to be accepted. Applications may only be made via our Environmental Health Online Services Portal. (Please note: select ‘street trading’ as your application type and pavement licensing will display as an application option.) 

Applications are currently free of charge.


Licence Conditions

The following conditions will need to be complied with by all applicants/licence holders. With regard to National Conditions, further information can be found in Government Guidance available via link from this page.


National conditions

1. No obstruction condition

Nothing must be done by the licence-holder to:

  • prevent traffic, other than vehicular traffic, from:
    • entering the relevant highway at a place where such traffic could otherwise enter it (ignoring any pedestrian planning order or traffic order made in relation to the highway)
    • passing along the relevant highway
    • having normal access to premises adjoining the relevant highway
  • preventing any use of vehicles which is permitted by a pedestrian planning order or which is not prohibited by a traffic order
  • preventing statutory undertakers having access to any apparatus of theirs under, in, on or over the highway, or
  • preventing the operator of an electronic communications code network having access to any electronic communications apparatus kept installed for the purposes of that network under, in, on or over the highway.

Particular regard must be had to the needs of disabled people, and the recommended distances required for access by disabled people as set out in guidance issued by the Secretary of State. See Section 3 Inclusive Mobility

2. Smoke-free seating condition

Where the furniture to be put on the highway consists of seating by use of persons for the purpose of consuming food or drink, the licence holder must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted.


Standard Pavement Licence Conditions

  1. Permission to operate a pavement licence does not imply an exclusive right to the area of public highway.  The licence holder must be aware that Arun District Council and others (e.g. police, highways authority, statutory undertakers) will need access at various times (including emergencies) for maintenance, installation, special events, improvements etc or any other reasonable cause.  This may mean that the licensed area must cease operating and/or be removed for a period of time.  On these occasions there would be no compensation for loss of business.
  2. Arun District Council requires evidence that the licence holder has Public Liability Insurance for the operation of the Pavement Licensed area.  This must indemnify Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council against all claims for injury, damage or loss to users of the public highway, arising from the use of the highway for the permitted purpose.  The minimum level of indemnity must be £5 million in respect of any one incident.
  3. Tables and chairs must not be placed in position outside of permitted times.  When the licence is not in use, all tables and chairs and other furniture must be stored securely inside a premises away from the highway.
  4. Arun District Council and/or West Sussex County Council are empowered to remove and store or dispose of furniture from the highway, at the cost of the licensee, if it is left there outside the permitted hours, or should any conditions of the licence be ignored.  The Council will not be responsible for its safekeeping.
  5. The licence holder is not to make or cause to be made any claim Arun District Council in the event of any property of the licence holder becoming lost or damaged in any way from whatever cause.
  6. An unimpeded pedestrian route must be maintained at all times for people wishing to use the footway as per the National Licence Conditions. 
  7. The method of marking the boundary of the licensed area must be agreed between the licence holder and the Licensing Department prior to operation of the area. Whatever method is agreed a minimum of 2 metre wide walkway must be maintained clear of obstruction for the use of pedestrians.
  8. Emergency routes to the premises and adjacent buildings must not be obstructed by the licensed area, which should not, in normal circumstances, extend beyond the width of the premises frontage.
  9. Tables and chairs should be of an approved type and should be kept in a good state of repair.  Furniture should be placed so as not to obstruct driver sightlines, or road traffic signs.  Placement of tables and chairs must allow pedestrians to use the footway parallel to the frontage of the premises.  Care should be taken in the use of hanging baskets, awnings, protruding umbrellas etc.  Alternative items may not be used without first seeking the written authority of the Council.  Patio heaters and A-boards or any other advertising structure must not be used.
  10. All potential obstructions must be removed from the public highway when the premises are closed to prevent a safety hazard to pedestrians, particularly during the hours of darkness.
  11. The licensee should ensure that the area operates in a safe and orderly manner, thereby ensuring that any safety risk or nuisance to customers, other users of the public highway or any adjacent land or premises in the vicinity, is minimised. 
  12. The operation of the area must not interfere with highway drainage arrangements.
  13. During the hours of darkness suitable and sufficient lighting must be provided to ensure safe use of the area.  Any proposals to provide additional lighting to the licensed areas must be agreed with the Highway Authority.
  14. All detritus (food and drink remnants, spillages, bottles, cans, wrappers etc) must be regularly removed from the footway surface to reduce hazards to pedestrians.  The licence holder must make arrangements to regularly check for and to remove litter and rubbish on pedestrian walkways, caused by persons using the licensed area, for a distance of up to 10 metres from the boundary of the Facility licensed area.  The licence holder must ensure that any tables are cleared in an efficient manner during the hours of operation.  The licence holder must ensure the licensed area and surrounding highway is to be washed down at the completion of each day's usage using a method sufficient to remove food debris, grease and other spillages that may occur.
  15. The licence holder is not permitted to make any fixtures, or excavations of any kind, to the surface of the highway without prior written approval from the council.  Any costs incurred as a result of damage to the highway, due to the positioning of tables and chairs etc, will be recovered in full from the licence holder by Arun District Council or West Sussex County Council.
  16. The Licensee of a premises not licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 or any modification or re-enactment thereof, must not allow the consumption of alcoholic liquor within the area subject to this pavement licence.
  17. The Licensee of a premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 or any modification or re-enactment thereof, must not allow the consumption of alcoholic liquor within the area subject to this pavement licence outside the hours in force for the premises itself.
  18. The licence must be displayed on the premises with a plan of the agreed layout of the pavement licensed area.
  19. The licensee is responsible for ensuring that the conditions of the licence and any other necessary permissions and regulations are adhered to.  The Licence holder is to use the highway solely for the purpose of the licence in line with the provisions of this licence and for no other purpose whatsoever.
  20. The licence holder must remove any tables, chairs and other furniture immediately at the end of the licence period or on revocation of the licence.
  21. Arun District Council reserves the right to revoke this licence at any time if any of the above conditions are not fulfilled and maintained.


The following information needs to accompany an application:

  • a plan showing the location of the premises shown by a red line, so the application site can be clearly identified
  • Your application will be declined if a plan clearly showing the proposed area covered by the licence in relation to the highway, if not to scale, with measurements clearly shown is enclosed. 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 shall include clear measurements of, for example, pathway width/length, building width and any other fixed item in the proposed area. For example:

Pavement Plan









  • the proposed days of the week on which, and the times of day between which, it is proposed to put furniture on the highway, A pavement licence will only be granted until 21.00hrs
  • photos or brochures showing the proposed type of furniture and information on potential siting of it within the area applied. Do not send in photos of furniture which depicts members of the public or staff sitting/standing or in view of the furniture;
  • (if applicable) reference of existing pavement licence currently under consideration by the local authority;
  • evidence that the applicant has met the requirement to give notice of the application (for example photographs of the notice outside the premises and of the notice itself);
  • a copy of a current certificate of insurance that covers the activity for third party and public liability risks, to a minimum value of £5 million, and
  • any other evidence needed to demonstrate how the Council’s local conditions, and any national conditions will be satisfied.

Please see the Application Template - Pavement Licence.docx [docx] 21KB that needs to be completed and erected at the premises. 

Government guidance: Pavement licences (outdoor seating proposal)

Please also see: Business and Planning Act 2020


Consultation Notice Template:

If you wish to make representations against the grant of a pavement licence we recommend you refer to our policy before making representations which will only be accepted via our Environmental Health Online Services Portal.