Short-term licences are being allowed to help businesses that have been closed for months during the coronavirus lockdown. The following businesses will be able to apply for permission to have temporary outdoor seating in suitable locations:

  • Pubs and bars

  • Restaurants and cafes, and

  • Snack bars, coffee shops and ice cream parlours

This follows a change in the law, recently agreed in Parliament, which means that district and borough councils can now issue these licences and waive the usual fees.

"This a crucial time for the hospitality industry and we want to do everything we can to help businesses to get back on their feet," says Councillor Susan Taylor, Deputy Leader at Chichester District Council.

"By making these temporary licences available to eligible businesses free of charge, we hope to give district businesses a much-needed boost to support their recovery plans. This initiative will be in place until 30 September 2021.

"This is one of many ways we are supporting local businesses from grants through to one-to-one business support. Supporting the High Street is one of the key objectives of our economic development strategy and is a key action within the council's approved COVID-19 recovery plan.

"The timing of this new initiative coincides with the Government's new Eat Out to Help Out scheme and we would encourage as many businesses as possible to sign up to both schemes. Establishments can apply for the free temporary pavement licence here: register for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme here:

"We have already been working to support our High Street businesses across the district as they reopen, and ensuring measures are put in place to enable visitors and businesses to follow the latest Government guidance. We have recently launched a Support Local campaign to support the district's businesses and High Streets by encouraging people to think, shop and spend local whenever they need to buy something. You can find out more about this campaign at:

To ensure public safety, businesses must have a licence in place to provide an outdoor seating area.

Reference: 3906

Date posted: 4 August 2020