22 August 2022
Since our article dated 4 July 2022 was published, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced that the temporary pavement licences brought in during the coronavirus (COVID-19) are to be made permanent.
The temporary licences were first introduced in July 2021 to support the struggling hospitality sector by making it quicker, easier and cheaper for businesses to get a pavement licence. Pavement licences allow businesses to set up removable furniture over parts of the highway adjacent to their premises for the sale of food and drink on or off the premises.
So what did the government introduce in July 2021 and what are the new changes?
What did the government introduce in July 2021?
As detailed in our previous article, the Government fast-tracked the process of applying for a pavement licence to support the struggling hospitality sector during the pandemic with the passing of the Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licence) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (the “Regulations”). Under the Regulations, eligible businesses can apply to the local authority for a capped fee of £100 and there is an obligation on the local authority to determine the application within 10 working days. If the local authority does not determine the application within this timeframe, then the licence is deemed granted.
Prior to this fast-tracked process, a business had to apply through Part 7A of the Highways Act 1980 which had varying application fees depending on the local authority and a minimum 28 calendar day consultation period.
What has changed?
Prior to July 2022, the Government guidelines confirmed that the fast-tracked process would allow licences to remain in place up to 30 September 2022. However, the good news is that the DLUHC has announced that the temporary changes will be extended until 30 September 2023 before becoming permanent law. The government has said that it will bring these changes into force through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
This news has been welcomed by many, with The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Greg Clark explaining:
We want to see bustling town centres across the country and that’s why the changes we made to licensing rules will become permanent. Making al fresco dining a permanent fixture on our high streets is part of our plan to level up communities and create vibrant places people want to live and work.
For details on how to apply for a pavement licence under the Government fast tracked process, please see our previous article dated 4 July 2022.
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