Pavement Licence

The Business and Planning Act 2020 introduced a new, temporary, fast-track process for businesses to obtain a Pavement Licence for the placement of furniture such as tables and chairs on the highway (including footpaths and pavements) adjacent to their premises. A Pavement Licence can only be used for the purpose of selling or consuming food and drink in connection with the activity of the licence holder’s fixed premises.

Central government have now extended the temporary licensing regime, new Regulations having taken effect on 10 August 2023. This means that businesses can now apply for a Pavement Licence running until 30 September 2024.

Please note that each temporary extension made by central government allows for a single licensable period only and does not bring an automatic extension to existing pavement licences. If you hold a current Pavement Licence you must reapply before Friday 15 September 2023 to remain licensed beyond 30 September 2023.

How to apply

It is important that you read the guidance document before applying for a licence as it contains information on eligibility, types of furniture permitted, the application process and what the Council will take into account when considering applications.

Please note that the application process will take approximately 2 weeks and furniture cannot be placed on the public highway until the Pavement Licence is granted.

The application fee is £100. Please note the fee is not refundable if the application is refused. 

You will need to include the following with your application:

  • photos or brochures showing the proposed type of furniture
  • a certificate of Public Liability Insurance, to a minimum value of £5 million
  • a site plan to a suitable scale or with clear measurements shown

The site plan will also need to show:

  • the property boundary
  • the boundary of the area proposed to be licensed, marked with a red line, together with the dimensions of the area, also clearly marked.
  • building and kerb lines (with measurements from the area to be licensed to the kerb edge)
  • furniture layout
  • points of access and egress
  • the position of any lighting columns, litter bins, road signs or other existing street furniture.

The easiest way to apply and pay is by credit or debit card, using the GOV.UK payment page to submit the form, upload the documents and pay the fee.

Alternatively, you can download our Pavement licence application form and submit by email to


Notice of application

On the same day you make the application, you are required to give notice by fixing a notice of the application to the premises so that it can be read easily by members of the public who are not on the premises.  You also have to make sure the notice remains continuously in place until the consultation period ends. You must use the Council template notice for this process.

What happens next

All applications are subject to a 7 day public consultation period (not including bank holidays) commencing the day after the day a valid application and fee are received by the Council. The Council has a further 7 days (not including bank holidays) within which to make a decision on the application. If the Council fails to make a decision within this timeframe, the licence is ‘deemed granted’. There is no right of appeal if the application is rejected.

Licence conditions

In accordance with section 5 of the Business and Planning Act 2020 the Council has published a list of standard conditions that will be attached to all pavement licences, both granted and ‘deemed granted.

If there is a breach of a licence condition, the Council may either revoke the licence, or serve a notice on the licence holder requiring them to take steps to resolve the issue within a specified time. If the licence holder fails to comply with a notice, the Council may take the steps ourselves and recover the costs of doing so from the licence holder.

There is no statutory appeal process for these decisions.

Street Cafe Licence

Oxford City Council still issues Street Café Licences under the Highways Act 1980 Section 115E.

This type of licence can only be applied for, and used in conjunction with the correct planning permission. Please see the Planning area of our website for further information.

If you wish to apply for a Street Café Licence please contact the Business Regulation Team by emailing