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For the majority of operators, current Pavement Licences will expire on 30 September 2023.This is in line with the end of the temporary scheme, which is expected to be replaced by a permanent regime as proposed by the Levelling- up and Regeneration Bill.

However, as a result of the delay to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the government has proposed a further extension to the temporary provisions regime via The Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 which expected to be approved and become law imminently. This extends the temporary pavement licence regime on the same terms for an additional year, expiring on 30 September 2024.

Anyone wishing to maintain their pavement licences beyond 31 September 2023 will need to make an application. The current application process remains unchanged: there is a 7 to 14-day application process, so applications for further Pavement Licences must be made in good time to ensure there is no break in continuity between the expiry of a current licence and the commencement of a further licence. For licences expiring on 30 September 2023, applications must be submitted no later than 16 September 2023.

Operators in Westminster should use the City Council’s online account system for their applications. We expect the same streamlined application process for existing licences will become available nearer the time for those operators making applications on the same terms as existing licences.


  • Use of the following removeable furniture may be applied for:
    o counters or stalls selling food or drink;
    o tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed;
    o chairs, benches or other forms of seating;and
    o unbranded umbrellas, barriers, heaters (which will require a specific risk assessment) and other articles issued in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.
  • There must be sufficient clear space for pedestrians to pass by the licensed area safely. Westminster City Council require a 2m pedestrian clearway along the length of the proposed site, with a minimum 0.45m set back if the proposed location is set at a kerb edge.
  • A valid certificate of public liability insurance for no less that £2,000,000 that expressly covers the area that you intend to licence must be included with the application along with a clear and legible highway plan which shows the intended furniture, requisite measurements and makes specific provision for smoke-free external seating, to allow smokers and non-smokers the option of sitting outside.
  • The application must be advertised on a notice displayed at the premises from the date the application is made until the end of the public consultation period and by the local authority on their website or register. The public consultation period is a 7 day period beginning the day after the application is made. You should take a photo of the notice on display and include it in your application submission.
  • Further information on Pavement Licences (including standard conditions) in Westminster can be found here; government guidance can be found here.


Existing Consents:

Operators with existing tables and chairs consents may remain cautious about relying upon the temporary Pavement Licence regime to authorise their external seating in the long term. Whilst the proposed permanent changes to the pavement licence regime as set out in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill continues its passage through the Houses of Commons and Lords, this is yet to be passed.

Pending such approval, the Pavement Licence regime remains temporary and, on the basis the most recent extension is passed, will end on 30 September 2024.

Operators may therefore wish to continue to renew any existing consents to mitigate the risk of refusal or re-grant on onerous terms beyond September 2024 in the event that the proposed permanency of the Pavement Licence regime does not gain the requisite approval of the Houses of Commons and Lords.

The current off sales deregulation expires on 30 September 2023.

If you are currently relying on the deregulation for off sales and will want to do so beyond 30 September 2023, you will need to make an application to vary your premises licence in good time. The government has now updated its guidance to confirm that Licensing Authorities may permit operators to apply to make permanent the existing relaxation using the minor variation process, which has a shorter consultation period, a lower fee and does not require advertisement in a local newspaper.

Thomas & Thomas Partners deal with Westminster on a daily basis and you should not hesitate to contact Alun should you have any queries regarding a licence or a licensing application.

Alun Thomas advises the SBA on licensing issues. You can find his profile and contact details here.


This is for general information only and is not intended to be, or constitute, legal or other professional advice. The content is provided as at the date the information was published and may be subject to change after that date. Legal advice should be taken before acting or relying upon any of the contents of this article.

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