Pavement licences

You will need a licence if you want to place tables and chairs on the public highway outside your café or restaurant.

The government has introduced temporary fast-track legislation for pavement licences, to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 closures.

This new process will allow you to secure a pavement licence within 14 days and at a lesser cost.

How to apply

  • You need to read our Pavement Licence Policy before you apply. This sets out the requirements for applying and conditions that will be required to be met.
  • We recommend you also read the detailed government guidance on pavement licensing.
  • To apply for a licence, you need to complete our online application form (see below) and attach the relevant documentation listed below.
  • On the day you apply, you will also need to display a public notice in a prominent position next to the highway. You can download a public notice template

Note: This application process only applies to highways land. If you need to check whether the land you are seeking to use is highways land, contact Surrey County Council highways information team. If you do not check this information and the land is not public highway then any pavement licence granted will be invalid and the application fee will not be refunded.

What to include with your application

As part of your application, you will need to provide a series of information. Please make sure you have fully read our Pavement Licence Policy for the full list of requirements. These include but are not limited to:

  • a completed (online) application form

  • a £50 fee, payable online by a debit/credit card

  • a premises location plan shown by a red line, so the application site is clear

  • a clear plan, showing the suggested pavement licence area in relation to the street. It does not need to be to scale but the measurements must be clear and the plan must show:

    • how many tables and chairs there will be, their positions and the dimensions of all furniture
    • any other items that you might have on the street
  • the days of the week and times of day when you will be using the pavement
  • the length of the licence requested
  • a copy of your third party and public liability insurance for at least £10 million

  • other supporting documents, such as photographs or leaflets of the furniture you will use

  • proof that you have advertised your application - a copy of the public notice you have put up, and a picture of it in-situ

  • confirmation that you have served notice on your direct neighbours

  • if you have already applied for a pavement licence with Surrey County Council Highways, which is in progress, please give the reference details.

Online application form

Please provide all the above information and attach the relevant documents to our online application form. Please be aware that if you send an incomplete application we will have to reject it, your fee will be retained and you will need to start the process again. The statutory consultation period starts when we receive your completed application.

Viewing applications and making representations

For members of the public wishing to find out about any pavement licence applications that have been made, or to make a representation within the 7 day consultation period, please see our pavement licence online tool.

Any representation must be in relation to the details in our policy: i.e.

  • Public health and safety

  • Public amenity

  • Accessibility

What happens when we receive your application

We will:

  • acknowledge within one working day

  • advertise your application on our website

We will also send consultation letters and ask for comments from:  

  • Surrey County Council Highways 

  • Surrey Police

  • Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

  • our planning team

  • our environmental services teams (Pollution and Health & Safety)

  • appropriate ward and parish councillors

  • any other relevant people

What happens after the consultation period

If we don't receive any representations, we will grant the licence, subject to our standard conditions. If we do receive representations, we will consider them and may add further conditions or consider refusing the application.

If we grant your licence, we will monitor your premises, to make sure you are complying with the terms of the licence.

Your licence will be valid as shown on the licence, but not beyond 30 September 2022, unless the government amends the legislation.

If we don't make a decision on your application with the 14 day period, your licence will be 'deemed granted'. It will still be subject to the standard conditions. If 'deemed granted', your licence will be valid for one year (unless you have specified a shorter period in your application), starting from the first day after the 14 day application period.

If you wish to continue your licence after 30 September 2022, you need to apply in good time for a regular tables and chairs licence through Surrey County Council. You will need to allow at least 28 days.

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