The new Business and Planning Act 2020 proposes significant changes designed to help licensed premises to survive and then bounce-back from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
The provisions include:
•a new “Pavement Licence" regime, administered by the Licensing Service, which is designed to make it easier for premises in England to serve food and drink such as bars, restaurants and pubic houses to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing.
The new licensing regime provides a fast-track procedure for the grant of an authorisation.
Pavement licences will have a limited duration and no licence will extend beyond 30 September 2021.
With the removal of restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses from the closure restrictions found in the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 with effect from 4 July 2020, it was recognised that there was a pressing need to allow the hospitality sector cut through the existing red tape and offer an outdoor environment to customers. Although able to open, businesses are still required to operate safely. Restrictions remain on gatherings indoors. There is also a much needed corresponding economic benefit to the beleaguered hospitality sector being able to trade to the full extent possible given the inevitable constraints social distancing places on indoor capacity limits.
Are you interested in applying?
Before applying you must be able to ensure that you carefully read the eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions. This will determine whether you are able to meet the requirements and apply for a Pavement Licence.
Before you complete the application form, please note that that you will need to include documents to accompany the application.
These will include:
•an illustration/photo of the type, colour and dimensions of the proposed street furniture
•copy of your public liability insurance
•written risk assessment for the permitted purpose (to assist you, here are the points to consider when preparing a risk assessment). We have also included an example of a typical risk assessment template
•a suitable noise management plan
•a plan with the proposed permit area outlined in blue, the plan must show measurements given in metres:
- the width of the frontage of the applicants premises
- the distance from the frontage of the premises to the nearest edge of the proposed permit area
- the length of each side of the proposed permit area.
•pay the relevant fee of £100
Please complete the application form, when you have everything in place.
On the same day that applicants submit the application and in order to comply with the ‘Act', you will be required to:
•Complete and display the attached notice on your premises so that it is clearly visible to members of the public to view without entering the premises. The Notice must be A4 in size and printed on a clear white background. Please note that the applicant must ensure the notice remains in place for the public consultation period which is the period of 7 days beginning with the day after the day the application is submitted to the authority.
If the application contains all the required documentation, your application will be consulted upon with a number of consultees including:
•Staffordshire Fire & Rescue
•Local Parish Council
Following consultation, the local authority must determine the application within 7 days, beginning with the first day after the public consultation ends. If the local authority does not determine the application within this timescale, the application is deemed to be automatically granted.
Please note: that any application submitted with incorrect or missing documentation will not be processed. Instead, you will be contacted by an officer and asked to re-submit the required documentation. It is also important to note that you will also be asked to remove the notice you may have displayed and re-advertise the notice when your application is deemed to be complete and when you are instructed to do so by an Officer.
All applications deemed to be served correctly will result in a site visit by an authorised officer of South Staffordshire Council. The officer will consider the suitability of the application along with any comments/representations. The Licensing Officer will determine whether or not to grant a Pavement Licence.
There is no appeal process against the Council's decision to refuse an application. In addition, the application fee will not be refunded.
Applicants need to be mindful of the fact that if the Licensing Service deems it appropriate and necessary, special conditions can be added to any granted licence. In addition, Mandatory Conditions will form part of the licence.
Ensure you follow the guidance on working safely.
All licences granted will expire on 30 September 2021.