Pavement consents

What a pavement consent is, how can I apply for a pavement consent, and who regulates pavement consents. Has anything changed due to COVID-19?

During the COVID-19 pandemic can I put tables and chairs outside?


At this current time, the COVID-19 regulations prohibit any food or drink business offering any facility for their customers to consume food or drink on the premises, the regulations make it clear that 'premises' includes any outdoor areas within the business control that may or may not belong to the business. For example, you cannot use beer gardens, cafe seating, and you need to very careful if your business is in close proximity to public seating that your service would encourage people to use. 

What about when business is allowed to re-open? 

It is believed that the use of outdoor areas on-premises serving food or drink may be the first sector the Government allow to open, however this is not confirmed at this stage. 

In order to assist with social distancing, many businesses may be considering how they can use outdoor space for customer to assist in getting their public houses/restaurants and cafes operational again.  

Will I be able to get a temporary permission to help with COVID-19 Restrictions?


A 3-month consent will be considered, subject to the area's suitability to be licensed, this consent will be to assist with the COVID-19 Restrictions 2020 and will not set a precedent to be able to get longer-term permission to use highway land after this time. All use of the council highway will need to comply fully with COVID-19 regulations, around social distancing etc. 

Will I definitely be allowed to place my tables and chairs out on the Highway?

Due to the diversity of the East Riding area, town, and village centres every request for a pavement consent will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

There will need to be full consideration of such matters as below (this list is illustrative and not exhaustive).

  • Is the highway suitable for tables and chairs - surface material will they be safe to use?
  • Will placing of tables and chairs on the highway cause difficulties in queuing to use shops/ will it prevent people being able to maintain social distancing when the roads and paths are narrowed/obstructed?
  • Will tables and chairs in a set location cause safety implications for the public including the visually impaired?
  • If two premises are adjoining one another and they both want to place tables and chairs out, how can they work with social distancing?
  • Does the premises have any restrictions on their Licensing Act 2003 premises licence that may prevent the use of an outside area?
  • Does the premises have another external area they can use instead of highway etc? 

We cannot say that all premises locations will be suitable for placing furniture on the street. Consultation with the Council’s planning and highways Teams will also be part of this process. 

If we only sell alcoholic drinks and no food, will we be considered for a Pavement Consent?

Prior to COVID-19, the council would not permit any alcohol only establishments to be able to use the highway, however some flexibility will be shown in order to assist getting business back trading under temporary Pavement consents if the COVID-19 regulations allow this use of the highway.

We await further Government advice on this matter which may clarify matters further.

You may also have to apply for a variation to your premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 

How do I apply for temporary COVID-19 Consent? 

Please send your initial inquiry by email to Licensing@eastriding.gov.uk 

We are awaiting national guidance on this matter, and therefore will update the application process and requirements as soon as we are able to do so. 

What is a pavement consent?

Pavement consents are aimed at offering the public the chance to eat and/or drink outside facilities. 

A pavement consent allows control of these areas of the highway to ensure the use of tables and chairs outside does not have any detrimental effect on the area and that the rights of all users are protected. For example, to ensure pushchair and wheelchair access remains clear at all times. 

The pavement consent can be a means of adding vitality and life to areas, helping to maximise the use of our public spaces and offer a range of facilities for people who live, work and visit the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Pavement consents are aimed at providing discrete outdoor areas for cafe style food led cafes or licensed premises. Where customers are offered the chance to purchase both and drink and any alcohol sales are incidental to the food service. 

The grant of any consent to use the councils land for this purpose is considered on its own merits and discretionary.

Can I apply for a pavement consent? 

Pavement consents will not normally be considered if: 

  • the premise does not offer food/drink or is primarily alcohol-led
  • the premise already has an outdoor area for this use
  • the premise is a late night takeaway
  • the placing of tables and chairs would create width restrictions/obstruction
  • the pedestrian footfall is heavy
  • emergency access is required at all times 
  • it would result in public health or nuisance issues
  • the area cannot be supervised appropriately/waiter/waitress service cannot be provided. 
  • if the proximity to residential properties would create concerns
  • or the premises is in a 'hot spot' area in the night time economy.

All application will be considered on their merit, however, the grant of any consent is discretionary. 

Full details of all requirements can be found in the current pavement licence policy, available to view using the link below: 

Pavement licence policy (word 178kb)

How do I apply for a pavement consent?

You can apply for a pavement consent at any time if you meet all the application criteria, however, a pavement consent will normally be issued from the 1st May each year.

Stage One 

Before applying for a pavement consent the owner of the premises should submit a business plan to the Licensing Team using the details below:

Email:  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

Your business plan should set out how you plan to manage the area in accordance with the following licensing objectives:

  • Public Order
  • Public health and nuisance 
  • Public Safety
  • Crime and disorder
  • The needs of the area.

Details of the proposed area/number of tables and chairs/barriers should also be provided with the initial business plan.

Stage two

To apply for a new pavement consent you will need to submit the following:

  • The appropriate fee 
               £80 for a 6-8 month consent (non-alcohol licensed premise) 

               £300 for a 6-8 month consent (alcohol licensed premise)
               £800 for a 3 year consent for alcohol licensed premise (food led premises)
               £200 for a 3 year consent for non-alcohol licensed premise. 

  • Site plan (full details of plan requirements can be seen in the pavement consent policy)
  • Photographs/images of proposed furniture and barriers/parasols
  • Certificate of public liability insurance minimum of 5 million cover, that must indemnify the council when the pavement consent is in place) 
  • Copy of any planning permission/ details of Licensing Act 2003 premises licence.

Please note: all initial grant of pavement consents will only be issued for a 12-month period as a provisional consent and renewed during the 12-month period.

Once your application has been received, an officer will assess your application and a site visit will be made to ensure the area is suitable for the locality and meets the policy requirements and vision of the council around café culture.

Once your application has been accepted, you will need to advertise your application for a pavement consent on your premises for 28 consecutive days, using the notice placed in a clearly visible location on the premise. This notice must remain in place throughout the consultation period:

Pavement consent public notice (word 14kb)

You will need to send photographs of your public notice on display to the licensing team using the contact details below:

Email:  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

 You are also advised to inform any immediate neighbours or other businesses of your application. 

Tacit consent 

Tacit consent does not apply to pavement licence applications as a decision needs to made after consideration of any representations. 

Who else may I need to talk to?

Before you apply for a Pavement consent you may wish to discuss your plans with  Planning as planning permission may be required for the area.

Can I renew my pavement consent?

Yes. You can renew your consent using the form below:

Pavement consent grant application form (word 42kb)

If nothing has changed in relation to your application please use the online form to renew your licence. 

Apply online for a pavement consent

If you are unable to use the online application facility to renew, please email us for advice using the contact details below:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

What if I want to change my pavement consent?

Any change to your pavement consent will require authorisation before the change is implemented, it may be that a new application would be required. 

We would advise that it would be best to request changes in advance of your renewal.

If you need to make an alteration during the existing consent, please submit your request to the licensing team:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

The authority will then liaise with Highways Team to ensure all parties are happy with any suggested alterations. The licensing service has the right to refuse any amendment if deemed inappropriate for the area. The decision of the council is final on any proposed changes.


A pavement consent cannot be transferred from one owner to another, a new application must be made.

What if I want to provide alcohol in my pavement consent area?

If you already hold a premises licence for the sale or supply of alcohol, you may be in a no drinking area.

Please seek advice from the licensing team by email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Alcohol-licensed premises must be predominately food-led for a consent to be granted.

Which premises have a pavement consent?

If you would like to know what premises have been issued a pavement consent, this can be viewed by visiting our public registers.

How can I object to a pavement consent application?

If you have concerns over an application for a pavement consent, you must put your concerns in writing within the 28 days representation period to the licensing team setting out the reasons for your concerns:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk 

or post to:

Licensing Team
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
Cross Street
HU17 9BA.

Right of appeal 

If your application is refused by officers you have the right of appeal to the Director of Communities and Environment, the decision of the Director is final on this matter.

Who enforces pavement consents?

Pavement consents are regulated by the Licensing team, Highways, and Streetscene officers.

All pavement consents are issued with restrictions on how many tables and chairs can be placed on the highway and at what time they must be removed from the highway, which is a condition of the granted consent.

Once consent is issued, if the premises do not operate in accordance with the granted consent, a maximum of 3 warnings will be issued before the consent may be withdrawn. Each breach will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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