Businesses such as bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes that want to start selling their products outside their premises can apply for a pavement licence from Canterbury City Council.
It follows the relaxation in planning and licensing laws announced by the government, with the aim of helping the hospitality industry recover from the impact of Covid-19. This is a temporary arrangement until Spring 2022.
The licence allows businesses to place tables and chairs on the pavement outside the premises, meaning they can maximise their capacity. They must adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times.
It is a fast-track application process. The council has a maximum of 10 working days in which to decide an application, otherwise it is automatically granted.
There is a seven day public consultation period for each application, with the council required to seek views from a range of organisations and the public. Applications cost £100 to cover the council’s costs.
A key part of the process is that applicants must demonstrate their tables and chairs will not cause an obstruction or danger to pedestrians, particularly mobility and visually impaired people.
Other criteria that must be met include showing there will be no negative impact on neighbouring properties, noise, litter and anti-social behaviour. Full details can be found in the council’s pavement licensing policy.
Having said that, the purpose of the legislation is to positively help local businesses to trade their way out of lockdown, and we intend to be as positive as we can in reaching decisions on applications.
Although licensing of tables and chairs is normally managed by Kent County Council, responsibility for running this scheme has been passed to district councils.
Existing licences granted by KCC remain in force.
Applications can be made online at