Fylde Council has put the procedure in place to introduce fast track pavement licences approved by government as another way to help local businesses get back to work.
The Business and Planning Act was introduced to parliament on 29th June this year and it contains measures intended by the Government to assist businesses and communities to recover from economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Among these is a fast track procedure for pavement licences.
A pavement licence is a licence which allows a business to place removable furniture (for example, tables and chairs, heaters) on certain highways (for example, pavements) adjacent to their premises for use by the business to sell and serve food or drink, and for their customers to consume it.
An application for a licence must be made electronically and includes a fee set by the council of £100.
This streamlined process provides for a seven-day consultation period after an application has been made. During the consultation period, the business must display a notice outside the premises, and the council must publish the application and invite representations on it.
The council must make a decision on the application within seven days after the end of the consultation period.
Before deciding whether to grant an application, the council will take into account any representations received during the consultation period. It must also consult the highway authority and such other persons it considers appropriate. The council must refuse the application if granting it would prevent access to the highway for highway users, as described in the act.
An application which is granted will potentially be subject to four kinds of conditions which are:
- A mandatory condition designed to preserve access for highway users;
- Bespoke conditions, tailored by the council to the particular application (not applicable if the licence is deemed to have been granted);
- Standard conditions published by the council, unless inconsistent with any bespoke condition;
- National conditions published by the Secretary of State, unless inconsistent with a bespoke condition or standard condition.
There is no statutory right of appeal against decisions to refuse a licence or place conditions on one. However, the Council have decided to give disappointed applicants the option to make representations to the Public Protection Committee.
Licenses will be granted to for a duration of six months unless specific considerations related to the site or application indicate a different duration to be appropriate. If you would like to apply for a pavement licence you can do so on our website here.
Councillor Shirley Green, Chairman of Public Protection & Licensing Committees said: “I am delighted that in my first role as Chairman of the committee, the Council is putting systems in place to support this initiative of a fast track process for businesses to apply for pavement licences during these extremely difficult times, and at a reduced cost.
This is yet another measure from the Government that enables Fylde Borough Council to assist our local businesses and I look forward seeing many of our eating and drinking establishments taking advantage of it.”