Cannock Chase councillors have responded to new legislation from Government for a pavement licensing scheme, by voting unanimously to support it at its Council Meeting held last evening. The scheme allows businesses selling food and drink to place tables and chairs and associated furniture outside of their premises.
Furthermore, councillors agreed to make the `pavement licences` free of charge to successful applicants. Other local authorities have decided to charge businesses £100 for a licence, the maximum amount allowed by Government.
The scheme is part of the Business and Planning Act 2020. It authorises councils and delegated officers to introduce the scheme in their localities and administer all applications made including setting up appropriate policies and procedures.
The pavement licences will be a temporary measure which will see all issued licences expiring on 30 September 2021.
Councillor Christine Martin, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Leader for the Council said: “We are now inviting all relevant food and drink businesses in the District to get in touch with our licensing team and seek authorisation to have a licence.
“This is a timely measure designed to help restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses which were allowed to re-open last month. It recognises that social distancing has reduced capacity indoors and that having customers sitting outside, according to scientific evidence, poses less risk in catching the coronavirus - provided that social distancing and hand washing guidance is followed.”
The new licensing scheme provides a fast track procedure for the granting of a pavement licence, bypassing the existing regulatory regimes. A Highways Act permit is not required, planning permission is assumed, and this is not considered street trading for the purposes of street trading legislation.
Applicants must post a notice on the premises on the same day as an application is made which must be in place for a consultation period of 7 calendar days beginning with the day after the day the application is submitted; while the Council must publish the application on its website and allow people to comment during the 7-day consultation period.
The Council must also consult with the highway authority and ‘such other persons as the local authority considers appropriate’ e.g. the police or residential neighbours.
The Council must determine the application within a period of 7 calendar days beginning with the first day after the consultation period.
Councillor Christine Martin, Portfolio Leader for Health and Wellbeing, Cannock Chase Council