Pubs, restaurants & cafes can apply now for outdoor seating licences
Worcester's pubs, restaurants and cafes can now apply to put tables and chairs on the pavements outside their premises, so they can serve more customers while sticking to social distancing rules.
Parliament has approved a new fast-track system for approving pavement licence applications, to help support the hospitality sector in England recover from the COVID-19 lockdown.
City businesses can find full information on how to apply on the licensing page. If an application is successful, the City Council will aim to issue licences within 14 days. The process includes a seven-day public consultation period, when residents, businesses and other interested parties can have their say on the application.
In assessing each application, the Council will look at issues including the hours of operation, safety, disability and access, any impact on roads and pavements, and the potential for anti-social behaviour and noise.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, Vice Chair of the City Council's Place and Economic Development Committee, said: "We want to see our city's pubs, restaurants and cafes doing well now that they can open again. I want to encourage them to apply to this new fast-track scheme so that they can hopefully start to serve more customers while still ensuring safety and sticking to the social distancing rules."
The new scheme, which runs under the just-passed Business and Planning Act 2020, will provide temporary licences for tables and chairs that last for six months. All pavement licences issued under this new legislation will come to an end on 30 September 2021.
Until now it has taken 28 days for a street furniture licence to be approved. The new scheme includes a shorter public consultation period of just seven days, during which the business making the licence application has to display a consultation notice. Once that period is over, the City Council has seven days to decide whether to approve or reject the application.
Applications need to be made online. Businesses will need to pay a £100 application fee.
Public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops and ice cream parlours can all apply for the new fast-track licences. If granted, the licence will allow them to put furniture on the pavement outside their premises to serve food or drink to customers.
All furniture will need to be removable. It can include tables, seating, serving counters and shelves on which food or drink can be placed, plus umbrellas, barriers or heaters.