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Pavement Licences

The Business and Planning Act 2020 introduced a new, streamlined process for businesses to place temporary furniture such as tables and chairs on the highway.

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The pavement licence process was introduced to allow businesses such as cafes, pubs and restaurants to provide tables and chairs on the highway to allow additional social distancing measures.

This streamlined process allows the District Council to issue a temporary pavement licence until the end of September 2024.

Devon County Council will continue to issue annually renewable 12 month street cafe licences under the longer Highways Act process.

You can view existing pavement licences and current applications open for consultation on our Public Register.


To apply you will need to:

Apply now
on the GOV.UK website

If you don't want to apply online, you can  download an application form (PDF) [227KB]  to complete, and send it back to us.

What happens once I've applied?

An application is 'made' on the day it is sent to the us containing the required information and accompanied by the fee of £100. This triggers the start of the public consultation period on the following day.

Once you've applied, you must affix a public notice (Word doc) [19KB]  to the premises, so it is easily visible and legible to the public on the day you submit the application to the council.

The notice must remain in place for five working days, beginning the day after the application is submitted to us.

We will consult with the following in relation to your application:

  • Highway Authority (Devon County Council)
  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
  • Torridge District Council's Planning, Environmental Protection, and Food and Safety Teams
  • Your local district ward councillors

Applications will be determined within 14 days (excluding Christmas day, Good Friday and bank holidays) from the day the application is sent.

If the application is not determined within this period the application will be deemed to have been granted for a period of a year, but not past 30 September 2024.

More information


The fee is set at £100. Applications and payments of this fee must be made electronically or over the telephone, and the council will issue any licence to the email address associated with your application.

Applicant Responsibilities

The applicant must have public liability insurance for a minimum of £5 million and provide a copy as part of the application.

The applicant must keep evidence (dated photographs) that the notice is in place for this period.

The applicant is encouraged to talk to neighbouring businesses and occupiers prior to applying to the local authority, and so take any issues around noise, and nuisance into consideration as part of the process.


The council will generally only permit Pavement Licences between 09:00 and 21:00. Applications outside of these hours will be assessed in terms of the criteria detailed below. The council however retains the right to specify permitted hours of trading that are less than those specified above in appropriate circumstances.

What will the Council consider when determining an application?

Public health and safety

For example, ensuring that uses conform with latest guidance on social distancing and any reasonable crowd management measures needed as a result of a licence being granted and businesses reopening.

Public amenity

For example will the proposed use create nuisance to neighbouring occupiers by generating anti-social behaviour and litter.


This will include taking a proportionate approach to considering the nature of the site in relation to which the application for a licence is made, its surroundings and its users, taking account of:

  • considerations under the no-obstruction condition, in particular considering the needs of disabled people
  • any other temporary measures in place that may be relevant to the proposal, for example, the reallocation of road space. This could include pedestrianised streets and any subsequent reallocation of this space to vehicles
  • any other social distancing measures in place, for example any queuing systems that limit the space available on the pavement
  • whether there are other permanent street furniture or structures in place on the footway that already reduce access
  • 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, and other users of the space, for example if there are high levels of pedestrian or cycle movements

Contact us

If you have any queries, or require help with your application, please contact the Licensing Team.

  • email:
  • phone: 01237 428700
  • post: Licensing Team, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford EX39 2QG

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