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New Law Paves the way for Ribble Valley Street Cafes

Published Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Shoppers and residents will soon be able to socialise and relax in Ribble Valley’s public highways thanks to a new law paving the way for street cafés.

The Business and Planning Act 2020 has been fast-tracked through Parliament to allow hospitality businesses to put tables and chairs outside their premises in order to serve food and drink.

The Government wants to make it easier for people to shop and socialise, while following social distancing guidelines.

Councils across the country are now required to process applications for pavement licences within two weeks.

Applications are subject to a seven-day consultation period, with licences granted for a minimum of three months for any period up to September 30 2021.

But where licence conditions are breached, councils can serve an improvement notice or revoke the licence.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “Councils across the country have been looking at how to best use town centre space, so that local hospitality businesses can reopen and accommodate social distancing.

“This Act will help hospitality businesses utilise outdoor space to bring a vibrant atmosphere to our town centres by providing drinking and dining outside their premises where appropriate.

“We welcome the creation of a clear legal basis for outdoor tables and chairs, which will help us quickly consider applications and apply relevant conditions, as well as reject applications or revoke licences if they cannot be managed safely or will cause detriment to residents.”

The new Act also allows pubs and cafes with a licence that only permits the consumption of alcohol on the premises to sell it for consumption outside.  

The permission applies until 11pm or closure time for any existing outdoor area, whichever is the earlier.

There is no consultation for the temporary permission, but licensees should notify Ribble Valley Borough Council if they have adopted it.

The permission will not apply to premises that have been refused an off-sales licence in the last three years, or had their permission revoked.

For further information or to apply for a ‘pavement licence’, see Licensing and Law.


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