Al fresco dining in the district will have an important role in the economic recovery from Covid-19 say council chiefs.
The likes of restaurants, cafes and pubs will soon be able to apply to Stratford District Council (SDC) for a pavement licence, giving them authorisation to put tables and chairs outside their premises to sell food and drink from and/or for their customers to use.
The Business and Planning Bill, introducing the new pavement licence, is currently progressing through the parliamentary process and is due to received Royal Assent before the end of the month.
An SDC spokesperson said: “As the country emerges from lockdown, pavement cafes have assumed a new importance given the scientific evidence of a lower risk of spreading coronavirus outdoors.
“With the re-opening of restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses, the pavement licensing regime, set out in the Business and Planning Bill, will offer the hospitality sector a simpler administrative route to providing an outdoor environment for customers and giving a boost to the hospitality sector, which has been particularly badly hit by coronavirus, allowing premises to trade to as full an extent as possible given the constraints placed on capacity by social distancing.”
Pavement licences will be temporary measure and no licence will extend beyond the end of September 2021.
And they will not alter the permitted operational hours of premises on an associated planning permission or premises licence. Licence applications must be determined within seven days and can cost up to £100.
Traders will be able to apply – once the Bill has received Royal Assent – via the district council’s website at www.stratford.gov.uk