What is a temporary pavement licence?

There are two types of pavement licence, with temporary pavement licences available from East Devon District Council and permanent pavement licences issued by Devon County Council. 

The temporary pavement licence arrangement issued by district councils has been extended and is in place until September 2024 and that allows you to place furniture on the highway, that is any paved or pedestrians area, to serve and consume food or drink or to be used by people to consume food or drink supplied from of in connection with the use of your premises. A temporary pavement licence can be requested from a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months up to 30 September 2024.

If you require a full, permanent pavement licence, then these are still being managed and issued by Devon County Council.  A permanent pavement licence is not time limited in the way that the temporary licences are and so you will need to apply through Devon County Council's application process and more information is available on the Devon County Council website.

If the land in question is private land you do not need a pavement licence but do need permission from the land owner. 

If the land is owned by East Devon District Council you need to contact our Streetscene events team:

The grant of a temporary pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway once a licence is granted. Other regulatory frameworks still apply such as the need for alcohol licenses and the need to comply with registration requirements for food businesses.

More details can be found in the guidance accompanying the Business and Planning Act 2020

Under the Highways Act 1980 the area for which a Pavement Café Licence is sought must be a highway, namely:

  • a highway in relation to which a pedestrian planning order is in force
  • a restricted byway
  • a bridleway
  • a footpath(including a walkway as defined in section 35(2) of the Highways Act 1980
  • a subway constructed under section 69 of the Highways Act 1980
  • a footbridge constructed under section 70 of the Highways Act 1980
  • a highway whose use by vehicular traffic is prohibited by a traffic order but whose use by other traffic is not prohibited or restricted or regulated by such an order
  • to a local Act walkway

Before applying for a pavement licence you need to make sure that:

  • there is a minimum width of two meters of footway remaining for pedestrians
  • all furniture is safe, practical, portable and in keeping with the surroundings.

If you set up café seating and tables without a pavement licence Devon County Council Highways have the power to remove any unlicensed items from the highway.