Business licences and permits

Information and application forms for running a camp or caravan site, marriage ceremony premises, food premises or auction premises.

Pavement licence for the hospitality sector

A pavement licence permits a 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.

Businesses that are eligible to apply for a pavement licence include: public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours.

Furniture that may be used is:

  • counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink
  • tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed
  • chairs, benches or other forms of seating
  • umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connections with the outdoor consumption of food and drink.

Furniture is required to be removable i.e. not a permanent fixed structure but able to be moved easily and stored away of an evening.

The granting of a pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway. Other regulatory frameworks still apply such as the need for alcohol licenses and the need to comply with registration requirements for food businesses.

Fees and charges

The application fee for a pavement licence is £100 and it will be issued until the end of September 2024, when the legislation is due to change.

On submitting an application for a licence you will be asked to provide the following:

  • public liability insurance certificate
  • proof of ownership or other right to occupy the premises to which the shop front trading application relates
  • location and site layout plan
  • furniture appearance - sketch/photograph/manufacturer's brochure showing furniture proposed.

Pavement licence trading guidelines

  • The latest guidance on social distancing must be complied with and reasonable crowd management measures implemented.
  • A 'COVID-secure' risk assessment must be carried out and reviewed regularly.
  • Pavement cafés will need to cease operating and/or be removed for any period of time in order to permit maintenance, installation, special events, improvements to the public highway by the council and other bodies.
  • Tables and chairs must not be placed in position outside of the permitted times.  When the licence is not in use, all tables and chairs and other furniture must stored securely inside a premises.
  • Should any of the licence conditions be ignored or any furniture be left out on the pavement outside the permitted hours it will be removed and stored or disposed of at the cost of the licensee.
  • An unimpeded pedestrian route must be maintained at all times for people wishing to use the pavement. 
  • Emergency routes to the premises and adjacent buildings must not be obstructed.
  • A Pavement Licence should not extend beyond the width of the premises frontage.
  • Tables and chairs should be of an approved type and should be kept in a good state of repair. Placement of tables and chairs must allow pedestrians to use the footway parallel to the frontage of the premises.
  • Furniture should be placed so as not to obstruct driver sightlines, or road traffic signs.  Care should be taken in the use of hanging baskets, awnings and protruding umbrellas. 
  • The area must be operated in a safe and orderly manner so as to minimise any safety risk or nuisance.
  • The operation of the area must not interfere with highway drainage arrangements.
  • All food and drink remnants, spillages, bottles, cans and wrappers must regularly be removed from the pavement to reduce hazards to pedestrians.  Arrangements must be put in place 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 licensed area. 
  • Tables must be cleared in an efficient manner during the hours of operation.
  • No fixtures, or excavations of any kind can be made to the surface of the highway without prior written approval of 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 Hillingdon Council.
  • A premises not licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 must not allow the consumption of alcohol within the licensed area.
  • A premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003 must not allow the consumption of alcohol within the licensed area outside the hours in force for the premises itself.
  • The licence must be displayed on the premises with a plan of the agreed layout of the pavement café.
  • The conditions of the licence and any other necessary permissions and regulations are to be adhered to. 
  • The highway is to be used solely for the purpose of the licence, in line with the provisions of this licence and for no other purpose whatsoever.
  • Clear routes of access along the highway must be maintained, taking into account the needs of disabled people, and the recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by mobility impaired and visually impaired people as set out in Section 3.1 of Inclusive Mobility.
  • Clear 'smoking' and 'non-smoking' areas, with 'no smoking' signage displayed in designated 'smoke-free' zones in accordance with Smoke-free (signs) regulations 2012.
  • No ash trays or similar receptacles to be provided or permitted to be left on furniture where smoke-free seating is identified.
  • Licence holders should provide a minimum 2 metre distance between non-smoking and smoking areas, wherever possible.

    Apply for a pavement licence

What happens next?

You are required to fix a notice to the premises on the day you submit your application to the council. The notice must be easily visible and legible to the public. The notice must remain in place for the duration of the public consultation period, which is days beginning the day after the day that the application is submitted to the council. Public holidays are not included when calculating days.

Application for pavement licence (Word doc) [52KB]

We will process your licence in 10 working days from the day after the application is made (excluding public holidays). This consists of 5 working days for public consultation and 5 working days to consider and determine the application after the consultation.

If you have not heard from Hillingdon Council within the 10 working day period the application will be deemed to have been granted for 12 months.

Failed application redress

If you wish to discuss the council's decision to refuse your licence application, please email or call 01895 277433.

Licence holder redress - licence revocation

The decision to revoke a licence will be made in consultation with the Chair or Vice Chair of the council's Licensing Sub Committee. There is no statutory appeal process.

Page last updated: 01 Dec 2023