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Pavement licences

A pavement licence allows businesses to place removable furniture in agreed areas near their business. We will take the type of furniture and its purpose into consideration if you apply for a licence.

To help support businesses to operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place, the government has introduced a simpler licensing process. This is will help businesses used for the sale of food and drink apply to use the public highway next to their business for outdoor seating areas.

If you have any queries about pavement licences, please email highwaylicensing@gateshead.gov.uk

Applying for a pavement licence

We recommended that you talk to neighbouring businesses before applying. This will help you take noise and nuisance issues into account in your application.

A pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway. Other regulatory frameworks still apply, such as alcohol licensing and registration requirements for food businesses.

If your application is successful, it will be granted until 30 September 2021. It will be subject to conditions set out in the Business and Planning Act 2020 published by the Secretary of State and local conditions set by Gateshead Council.

There are two national conditions which apply to all pavement licences, a ‘No-Obstruction’ condition and a ‘Smoke-Free seating condition’.

The No-Obstruction condition seeks to ensure that furniture placed on the highway under the authority of a pavement licences does not:

  • prevent traffic, other than vehicular traffic, from entering the relevant highway at a place where such traffic could otherwise enter it, passing along the relevant highway, having normal access to premises adjoining the relevant highway
  • prevent any use of vehicles which is permitted by a pedestrian planning order or which is not prohibited by a traffic order
  • prevent statutory undertakers having access to any apparatus of theirs under, in, on or over the highway
  • prevent 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

When we are considering an application for a pavement licence we will have regard to the needs of disabled people and the recommended distances required for access by disabled people as set out in Section 4.1 of the guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

The Smoke-Free seating condition seeks to ensure that where furniture placed on a highway under a pavement licence consists of seating for use by persons for the purpose of consuming food and drink, the licence holder must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted.

When we are considering an application for a pavement licence and whether a licence holder has made reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted, we will have regard to Section 4.2 of the guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

View the local conditions set by Gateshead Council.

It is recommended that you make sure you are familiar with these conditions and that you are able to comply with them.

After you've applied

You will receive an email confirmation once you have submitted your application. This will contain an application reference and a payment reference for your records.

The application will be subject to a public consultation period of seven days. This begins the day after your submitted your application. We will post notice of the application on our website and also send it for consideration to the following consultees:  

  • Northumbria Police
  • Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
  • Traffic Planning and Engineering, Gateshead Council
  • Public Health, Gateshead Council
  • Development Management, Gateshead Council
  • Trading Standards, Gateshead Council
  • Licensing, Gateshead Council
  • Environmental Health, Gateshead Council

At the end of the seven day consultation period the Council has a further seven days, starting on the day after the consultation period, to consider any issues raised by the public and the consultees listed above and to determine whether or not the licence should be granted.

You will be informed by email whether your application has been granted or refused.

While licensed

If any condition of the licence is breached during the term of the licence, the licence may be revoked. We may also serve notice on a licence holder to remedy the breach.

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