Licence to place tables and chairs on the highway

Businesses such as cafes, bars and restaurants like to offer an outdoor seating area for their customers to consume food and drink. If this area is part of the Public Highway, then a licence is required from the Local Authority under the Highways Act 1980.

The licence is granted for a 12 month period. For information on the relevant fee please visit our Licence fees page. The Licensing Team at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has responsibility for processing of applications. Guidance notes an application form and other necessary documents can be downloaded below.

All licences have standard conditions attached and additional, appropriate conditions can be imposed by the authorities consulted if required. An example of a condition may be for polycarbonate glasses to be used at certain times of the night or for the furniture to be removed at the end of the trading period. The conditions may vary from licence to licence.

View a summary of the regulation relating to the licence to place tables and chairs on the highway

Business and Planning Act 2020

Under section 2 of the BPA2020, premises can now apply for a fast track, cheaper application to place tables and chairs adjacent to their premises. The application process outlined in the 'Licensing Policy for Tables and Chairs on the Highway' below still applies and details of the new process, including application form, conditions and site notice, can be found in the Guidance Notes and application – tables and chairs 2020.

Further details on the new legislation can be found on the GOV.UK webpages Government Guidance: pavement licences.

Application evaluation process

The following criteria will be considered when applications are evaluated:

  • Space - is there room for the use as proposed?
  • Environment - is the quality of air and the immediate environment suitable for the use proposed?
  • Other needs - what other highway uses and users need to be considered?
  • Neighbours - how will the proposed use affect the neighbouring properties?
  • Regulations - does the proposal meet the various criteria outlined in legislation and the Basingstoke and Deane guidance notes (available to download below).

All applications are subject to a 28 day consultation period, during which time the application is sent to:

  • the police authority
  • the highways authority
  • the planning authority
  • anyone who may be affected, such as neighbouring premises or any other person or business that the council deems is appropriate.

During this 28 day period, the applicant must prominently display a Public Notice at the premise to which the application relates. A copy of the required public notice is available to download below.

When should I expect a decision?

Tacit consent applies to this application.  This means that you will be able to act as though your application has been granted if you have not heard from the Licensing Team within the target completion period which is a maximum of 56 days.

Making an application

Making an application online
You can apply and pay for a licence to place tables and chairs on the highway online through the UK Business Link website. You must complete the full application process online and upload your completed application form with supporting documentation to the online system. The relevant payment must also be made online. In order to complete the online application process you will require a government gateway registration.

Apply online for a licence to place Tables and Chairs on the Highway

Tell us about a change to your existing licence to place Tables and Chairs on the Highway

Further guidance on the online application procedure can be found on the EU Services Directive section of our website.

Making a Manual Application
If you prefer to submit a paper application by post or by hand to the council offices you must use the form below and submit to the Licensing Team.

The application must be accompanied by the relevant fee and supporting documentation as outlined in the guidance notes below, all cheques made payable to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.


Failed Application Redress
Please contact the Licensing Team in the first instance however, there is no right of appeal against the refusal of a licence to place tables and chairs on the highway.

Consumer Complaint
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre

Other Redress
If you have a complaint regarding tables and chairs on the highway please contact the Licensing Team.

Contact details

Licensing Team

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