New Forest District Council: Council offers free pavement licences to support New Forest hospitality businesses
New Forest District Council is waiving fees on applications for pavement licences, to support local hospitality businesses in their recovery following the national lockdown.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Barry Rickman said: “The Council is committed to supporting the businesses of the New Forest at this challenging time. I fully support the government’s ‘café culture’ and was delighted with changes in legislation with the introduction of Pavement Licences which will enable cafés to put tables and chairs on the pavement.
“I have taken the decision; to support our businesses the Council will not charge the £100 discretionary fee. Applications for Pavement Licences will be free. I look forward to seeing local businesses taking the opportunity to increase the numbers of customers they can accommodate by using the pavement for outside eating and drinking.”
The government has introduced a new, streamlined process to allow businesses to quickly obtain a licence to place temporary furniture, such as tables and chairs, outside cafes with a decision made within 10 working days*. The new licence will support venues to operate safely, boost income and protect local jobs.
Applications for the new pavement licences will be open later this week, visit www.newforest.gov.uk and search ‘pavement licence’.
The licences are available for any business premises that sell food or drink for consumption; including pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours, supermarkets, or entertainment venues which sell food and drink.
The licence allows for removable furniture to be placed on the highway to sell or serve food or drink, which can be removed and stored away of an evening. This can include stalls, tables, counters, shelves on which food or drink can be placed or sold, chairs, benches or other forms of seating; and umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.
Licences granted under the new temporary arrangements will typically be issued for one year and will not be valid beyond 30 September 2021**.
Full details of the new scheme are available on the government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pavement-licences-draft-guidance/draft-guidance-pavement-licences-outdoor-seating-proposal
There is more support and advice available for businesses in the New Forest at www.newforest.gov.uk/coronavirusbusiness