• Communities Secretary confirms he will extend provisions for temporary pavement licences for a further 12 months to support the recovery of our hospitality industry and high streets.
  • Government calls on local authorities to help high streets re-open safely when restrictions lift.
  • Government measures introduced last year to support the reopening of high streets to remain in place.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has announced he intends to extend pavement licences for a further 12 months to help the hospitality industry recover once lockdown restrictions are lifted – subject to parliamentary approval.

Details of the announcement were included in a letter sent by the Communities Secretary to councils urging them to do ‘everything possible’ to get ready for the reopening of the country’s high streets.

Under measures already introduced, hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors from no earlier than 12 April. Extending provisions around pavement licences – which will be subject to parliamentary approval – will make it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve people outside.

The extension supports a series of measures introduced last year by the government to help hospitality businesses recover, which will remain in place as restrictions start to ease. These include:

  • Relaxation of planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways.
  • Greater flexibility for land to be used for temporary events, such as markets and motorsports.
  • Planning freedoms to allow outdoor markets, marquees, pop-up car-boot sales or summer fairs without the need of a planning application.

Providing these flexibilities will support hospitality businesses to trade in these challenging times, helping to protect jobs and livelihoods.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

We’re all looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again as we start to gear up for what should be a great British summer.

Therefore I’m delighted to announce an extension on temporary provisions for pavement licences for a further 12 months. This will give further certainty to businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

As lockdown restrictions ease in the coming months I’m also keen to highlight the range of measures we’ve put in place to help support the safe reopening of hospitality businesses and our high streets.

It’s vital we work together to do everything we can to help these businesses prosper again. That is why I’ve written to councils calling on their support to use these measures in a pragmatic way to help support the high street, businesses and jobs, once restrictions allow them to do so.

Further information

Since the start of the pandemic the government has taken decisive action to support our much-loved high streets.

These support measures include:

  • £50 million fund for councils across England to prepare for the safe reopening of high streets and other retail spaces. To help staff get back to work and customers return to shops confidently and safely. Fund supported a range of practical and safety measures such as new signs, street markings and temporary barriers.
  • Planning freedoms to allow outdoor markets, marquees, pop-up car-boot sales or summer fairs without the need of a planning application.
  • Further support for pubs, restaurants and cafes to help serve customers outdoors. This included reducing the costs of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls making it easier for people to safely drink and dine outside.
  • Reduced the consultation period for applications for pavement licences from 28 calendar days to 5 working days and automatic deemed consent after 10 working days if the council does not issue a decision.
  • Set a lower application fee for a pavement licence of up to £100.
  • Greater flexibility for land to be used for temporary events such as markets and motorsports. We increased the number of days allowed for such events from 28 to 56 without making an application for planning.
  • Restaurants, pubs and cafes given automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year. Measures help give businesses confidence to continue to serve customers and retain staff.
  • Business grants and rates relief provided to high street businesses.
  • Flexible use of high streets. Buildings can convert between commercial, business and service uses – shops, restaurants, services (like banks), gyms, offices, research facilities – and into a mix of such uses – without needing planning permission.

Published 8 March 2021
Last updated 8 March 2021 + show all updates

  1. 8 March 2021

    First published.

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Jenrick confirms extension of pavement licences to help high streets recover

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