Government guidance has set a timetable for "unlocking" businesses, including cafes and pubs by July 4, 2020. Outdoor seating to supplement existing space is a key factor for hospitality businesses to allow social distancing. The Council owns land which businesses may wish to use for this purpose and will allow applications for licences to use this land during the summer of 2020.

This document sets out how we will seek expressions of interest, the timetable and decision making criteria.


  • Consistency; A single approach across all areas of Council land.
  • Efficiency; Issue licences as quickly as possible in July.
  • Simplicity; An online application process which is simple and quick.
  • Economic Benefit; Maximum economic benefit to businesses with as many as possible able to access licences to use Council land where appropriate.
  • Local Decisions; Councillors and Town & Parish Councils consulted on appropriate space for inclusion.
  • A Partnership Approach; Businesses responsible for managing noise, rubbish and taking a good neighbourly approach to ensure success.
  • Outcome; Granting licences is discretionary and the Councils decisions will be final.


  • Where more demand for outside seating than space available, adjacent businesses will have priority.
  • To balance demand, pedestrian access and general ambiance, less space than requested may be allocated.
  • This scheme is intended to help local hospitality businesses with existing premises and is not intended for new or mobile businesses.

What land does the Council Own?

A map of available land will be put on the application webpage.


  • Applications made through the Council's website will capture information for any subsequent licence.
  • The licence fee will be calculated at the application stage. Applicants can then decide whether to proceed.
  • Applications will open in June with initial licences issued in early July.
  • Licences to use our land will be granted upon receipt of the relevant fee
  • Use of Council land will remain subject to any other relevant permissions or consents required.
  • Licence fees are non-refundable, unless lockdown returns. Refunds will then be made on pro-rata basis.
  • If activities are displaced i.e. car parking, the fee basis may be amended to address any income shortfall.


Applications open on our website from Thursday, 18 June. First round of licences issued Friday, 3 July.

Licence terms

  • July - End of October 2020 only
  • Nothing to be constructed on the land which must be cleared each day and any litter or packaging disposed of.
  • Activity on licensed area to cease by 2100 hrs each day until September 1, 2020. Thereafter, by 1900 hrs.
  • Licence terminable at 24hrs notice if terms are breached.

Other Consent Requirements

For the 2020 season only, a pragmatic approach to planning matters will be taken. Businesses may need additional premises related licensing or amendment to their existing licences. Details can be found at Serving Food and Drink Outside.