The Council owns land which can be used by hospitality businesses to open outdoor seating areas for their customers in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This page will tell you what areas are available and how to apply.

Government guidance has set out a timetable for 'unlocking businesses,' including cafes and pubs by 4 July 2020. However, many hospitality businesses do not have the space to be able to reopen under social distancing guidelines.

Outdoor seating is one way that businesses can reopen safely. Businesses can apply for a licence to use council-owned land to help them to reopen if they wish to.


What land is available?

Check Available Land

If you wish to apply for a licence in a location not listed, you can select "Other" on the form and tell us where you would like to operate. Please check to make sure we own the land before submitting an application. If you're uncertain, please check with the Land Registry.

Search the Land Registry

If you wish to place an outside seating area on a road, footpath or pavement, you will need to apply to Devon County Council for permission.

Street Cafe - Devon County Council


What are the terms of the Licence?

The Licences issued under this scheme will run from July to October inclusive, and run for one season only, as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses must undertake to keep the areas clean and tidy, disposing of all litter and packaging correctly. Public litter bins in the areas are not for the use of any businesses.

You may not construct anything on the land, which must be cleared each day.

Use of the licenced area must end by 9.00 p.m. at the latest every night until 1 September. After this date, the use must finish each day by 7.00 p.m. at the latest.

To balance demand, pedestrian access and general ambiance, less space than requested may be allocated.

If you wish to serve alcohol or food, you will need a separate license for these activities if you don't already have one. Please read Serving Food and Drink Outside for more information.

It is the responsibility of the business to ensure they are complying with the requirements of their premises or personal licence. Use of the Council land will remain subject to any other relevant permissions or consents required.

Granting Licences is discretionary and the Councils' decision will be final.

You can read the full terms and conditions here.


Is there a Charge for the Licence?

Yes. To cover our adminstration costs, there will be a charge for the licence. This will be calculated as part of your application and must be paid before your licence will be issued.

Once we have received your application we will contact you to let you know the outcome of your application and arrange payment.

Administration fees are non refundable, unless lockdown returns. Refunds will then be made on a pro rata basis.

If Council activities are displaced, such as car parking, the fee basis may be amended to address any income shortfall.


How soon will I get my Licence?

Applications to this scheme will open on Thursday 18 June. Licences will be issued to start in early July.

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


Will some businesses be given priority over others?

Yes. The scheme is intended to help local hospitality businesses with existing business premises. It is not intended for new or mobile businesses.

Where there is more demand for outside seating than space available, adjacent businesses will be given priority.


How can I apply?

Before you apply, please make sure you have read the guidance below:

Serving Food and Drink Outside 
Outdoor Seating Strategy
Terms and Conditions

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