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A summer of café culture could be on the horizon

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Published: 17th July, 2020

Cafe Culture in UKPubs, cafes and restaurants were closed on 23 March as part of the fight against the spread of coronavirus, but ‘Super Saturday’ on the 4 July provided hope to these businesses, by permitting hospitality venues to open their doors once more. However, there are strict rules to be adhered to which will naturally limit the number of clientele that businesses can service.

There is some good news though that may assist in alleviating the inherent difficulties in maintaining physical distancing space. New temporary licensing laws expected to be in force by 21 July 2020 relax the current rules on pavement licensing enabling businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway.

Regional discretion

The draft proposals introduce a quicker and cheaper process by reducing the consultation period to 5 working days and a £100 fee for processing the licence and a grant within 10 working days if no response is received from the local authority.

The reforms also include proposals that pubs, cafes and restaurants can use their car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas, using their existing licences.

In addition, temporary changes to licensing laws will allow many more licensed premises, such as pubs and restaurants, to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. Customers will be able to buy their drinks from a pub and consume them elsewhere, making social distancing easier.

Applications will have to be made to the local authority for your area which will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to approve an application. These include ensuring that waste is disposed of responsibly and that access to pavements and pedestrianised areas is not compromised.

Let us hope that the British weather does not let us down!

For further information contact Tim Axe at or call 01423 851115.


Planning Law Solicitor | Tim Axe | LCF law | Community Infrastructure Levy

This article was written by Tim Axe. Tim is a Partner in our Planning Law Department and is based in Harrogate.

Tim specialises in agricultural and rural planning matters and the removal of agricultural occupancy restrictions. With a local government background, he assesses development potential, local plan representations relating to allocation of land for development and acts as a planning applications agent.

Further advice please contact Tim Axe on 01423 851 115 or