licence - venues - Al-fresco dining and drinking - licensing

Cheshire East Council has launched a new streamlined application process for businesses keen to operate “al fresco” dining.

The authority says it aims to support high streets, town centres and the hospitality sector as part of a recovery plan from the pandemic.

The application process is quick with decisions made in 10 days, and subject to a £100 fee.

The new policy sets out probable areas where licences will be permitted, the process to be followed and the relevant conditions.

All businesses with outdoor seating on a public highway require a licence.

The council is encouraging any business already providing or seeking to provide al fresco facilities on public highways to apply for a pavement licence.

Businesses also need to check they have adequate public liability insurance to cover the area as failure to have a licence may affect their insurance.

Cllr Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “These streamlined provisions will temporarily allow many bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants to apply for licences, to accommodate outdoor dining on public highways.

“This fast-tracked route is ideal compared to the lengthier, more expensive standard regulatory processes.

“The new measures will support a safe al fresco dining experience on our pavements whilst maintaining adequate space for pedestrians.

“It is essential to follow current government guidance and signage in your local town, being conscious of public safety to help keep us all safe.”

Cllr Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “These temporary measures are supporting businesses to reopen their doors.

“Economically, this will help licensed premises to survive and rebuild income after the pandemic lockdown.

“Businesses and their customers do however need to be mindful, to respect other pedestrians using the pavements during this time.

“I would encourage all businesses looking to use outdoor seating areas to make sure they apply.

“The process is relatively straightforward and inexpensive.”

For more information and how to apply visit

Completed applications will be determined within 10 working days.

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