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Pavement licence reminder to pubs, restaurants and cafes

Food and drink outlets across Cornwall are being reminded to apply for a licence if they want to place furniture such as tables and chairs outside their properties on the highway. 

The Business and Planning Act 2020 has introduced a range of temporary changes to support businesses and the economy to recover from the severe disruption caused by the pandemic 

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These changes will remain in place until September 30, 2021. 

The new, fast-track temporary pavement licence is designed to support the hospitality industry in recovering lost capacity due to social distancing rules. 

It allows food and drink premises to put seating outside their premises on the highway to support them in operating safely while social distancing measures remain in place.  

Businesses must ensure that use of an outside area does not block pedestrian flows, impair emergency vehicle access or hinder social distancing and be respectful of neighbours.  

Owners of premises are expected to monitor the use of outside areas for anti-social behaviour, noise and litter.   

Cornwall Council will issue pavement licences to businesses under the fast-track system provided the guidance is followed and there are no concerns relating to obstruction, insufficient room for disabled access, safety, crime, disorder or nuisance.   

See the social distancing guide for towns, parishes and businesses on the Cornwall Council website for details. 

The Business & Planning Act also temporarily relaxes rules for licensed premises to offer takeaway alcohol services at the same times as they are licensed for sales onsite, subject to a cut-off time of 11pm.   

Businesses need to notify Cornwall Council’s Licensing Service if they intend to start making takeaway sales under the new permission. 

They must also display a statement confirming they are operating under the new temporary permission to allow the takeaway sales under section 172F(2) of the Licensing Act 2003. 

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall’s cabinet member for economy, planning and culture, said: “We support food and drink businesses using outside areas, subject to risk assessments and it being safe to do so, in order to support social distancing. 

“With the new laws now in force we’re reminding premises to apply for this fast-track, temporary pavement licence which will enable them to continue operating safely while supporting their business recovery.” 

For more information on pavement licensing or the relaxation of takeaway sales, please email 

Hospitality businesses are also being reminded to ensure data is held securely when collecting customer contact details to help with the Government’s Covid-19 test, track and trace system. 

For more business advice on operating safely, see our business support pages.

Story posted on August 12, 2020