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Outdoor Seating Strategy


Government guidance has set a timetable for "unlocking" hospitality businesses for outdoor seating only, which will be 12 April 2021 at the earliest. Further stages of the roadmap will enable this outdoor seating to continue in order to supplement existing indoor space, which will allow for appropriate social distancing.

The Council owns land which businesses may wish to use for this purpose and will allow applications for licences to use this land during the spring and summer of 2021.

This document sets out how we will receive applications, the process, timetable and decision making criteria.


  • Consistency; A single approach across all areas of Council land, wherever possible.
  • Efficiency; Issue licences as quickly as possible.
  • Simplicity; An online application process which is simple and quick to complete.
  • Economic Benefit; Maximum economic benefit to businesses with as many as possible being able to obtain licences to use Council land, where appropriate.
  • Local Decisions; Councillors and Town & Parish Councils consulted on appropriate space for inclusion
  • A Partnership Approach; Businesses responsible for managing noise, rubbish and taking a good neighbourly approach to ensure success for all.


  • Where more demand for outside seating than space available, adjacent businesses will have priority.
  • To balance demand, pedestrian access and general ambiance, less space than requested may be allocated.
  • This scheme is intended to help local hospitality businesses with existing premises and is not intended for new or mobile businesses.

What land does the Council Own?

Maps of available land for each town will be posted on the application webpage.


  • Applications made through the Council's website will capture all necessary information for any subsequent licence.
  • The licence fee will be calculated once the application is submitted. Applicants can then decide whether to proceed.
  • Applications will open in March with initial licences issued prior to 12th April 2021.
  • Licences to use Council owned land will be granted upon receipt of the relevant fee.
  • Use of Council owned land will remain subject to any other relevant permissions or consents required, for which the Licensee will be responsible.


Applications open on our website from Tuesday 23 March 2021. First round of licences will be completed prior to 12 April 2021.

After these dates we will aim to issue your licence within five working days

Licence terms

  • 12 April - End of October 2021 in most locations, but will also be in line with any future changes to the Government's roadmap dates.
  • Nothing to be constructed on the land which must be cleared each day (unless in special circumstances) and any waste, litter or packaging to be disposed of by the business - not using public litter bins.
  • Hours of operation to be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily unless agreed otherwise.
  • Licence terminable at 24 hours' notice if terms are breached

Other Consent Requirements

For the 2021 season only, a pragmatic approach to planning matters will be taken. Businesses may need additional premises related licensing or amendment to their existing licences. Details can be found at Serving Food and Drink Outside.

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