Pavement licences

The Business and Planning Act 2020 was passed to promote economic recovery and growth in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.  The aim of the legislation is to help protect the hospitality industry whilst social distancing measures remain in place.

The Act creates a simpler process for businesses who already serve food and drink to increase their seating capacity and maximise income potential.  Bars, restaurants, cafés and pubs may apply to temporarily increase their seating capacity to serve customers outdoors.

This new process is a quicker and easier route for businesses to obtain a licence to place furniture on the Highway.   A pavement licence is not required for pub car parks or beer gardens unless this land is owned by the Highways Authority. 

Businesses who already have a Street Café licence issued by North Yorkshire County Council will not be required to apply for a new Pavement Licence.

Planning permission is temporarily waived for Pavement Licences and Businesses who already benefit from alcohol ‘on’ sales on their licences, will also be temporarily authorised to sell alcohol for ‘off’ sales.  Please do not confuse this with selling alcohol from a bar placed outside as this will require a change to an existing premises licence.

This act only applies to land which is owned by the Highways Agency. Different charges apply for land that is owned by us. If you are unsure who owns the land, contact our Estates Department.

Apply for a pavement licence

Apply online > 

You will be prompted to submit the additional documents necessary to complete your application process.

Your application will not be considered complete until you have:

  • Fully completed the online application
  • Provided proof of £5 million Public Liability Insurance
  • Provided the brochures or photographs of the proposed furniture, enclosures etc
  • Attached the plan of the area, location of furniture, fixtures and fittings and your means of enclosure
  • Paid the fee

Please note: Incomplete applications will not be processed

An application is ‘made’ on the day it is sent to us containing all of the required information accompanied by the fee. This triggers the start of the Public Consultation period on the following day.

Public notice at premises

Once you have applied, you must affix a notice to the premises called a Public Notice.  It must be displayed so it is easily visible and legible to the public for the 7 day consultation period.  This must be displayed on the day you submit the application to the council. The notice must remain in place for seven days, beginning the day after the application is submitted to and accepted by us.

If the public wish to make representations in respect of an application they should be made to  .


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

  • Highway Authority
  • North Yorkshire Police
  • Environmental Health
  • The General Public (via public notice – details above)

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 one year, or by the 30 September 2023 whichever is the soonest.


View the pavement licence fee. Applications and payments of this fee must be made electronically or over the telephone, and we will issue any licence electronically to the email address stated on your application.


External links