Pavement café permits introduced to enable social distancing as Devon’s pubs and cafes reopen.

Temporary licences are being introduced by Devon County Council to help hospitality businesses. Pict

Temporary licences are being introduced by Devon County Council to help hospitality businesses. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

‘Street café culture’ could become widespread in Devon’s towns this summer, as pubs and cafes are granted permission to spread out on to paved pedestrianised areas.

Temporary licences are being introduced by Devon County Council to help hospitality businesses reopen after lockdown, while observing social distancing rules.

It would normally take 12 weeks to process an application for a street café, including a 28-day consultation period.

But the temporary licence will allow businesses to provide outdoor seating while the consultation is under way, provided the application is not contentious and is in line with the council’s terms and conditions.

The council will continue to consult guide dog owners and wheelchair users before issuing licences for tables and chairs in pedestrian areas.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The street cafe culture in our town and city centres across Devon has always been popular, and we’re hoping that accelerating the application process on this issue can help local cafes and pubs when they re-open.

“We’re doing what we can to support local businesses and this is another way that we can help our local economy to recover. The temporary licence will be supplied free of charge and the street cafe licence fee will only be applied when the formal licence has been issued.

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“Applications will be assessed as quickly as possible, and, as long as they are safe, in line with the guidance, and provide pedestrians with a minimum of two metres to pass, an informal temporary licence will be issued.”

If no objections are received during the 28-day notice period, a formal 12-month licence will be issued in the normal way.

However, if objections are received during the formal consultation, or complaints are received regarding the temporary period, the street cafe may be removed, and the temporary licence may be withdrawn until the issues can be resolved.

Businesses with existing street cafe licences will also be able to apply for a temporary informal licence to expand the outdoor area to enable social distancing.

Applications still need to be made in the normal way via the Devon County Council website. at:

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