Tables and Chairs
Under the Highways Act 1980 (as amended) any person wishing to place objects on the public highway must first obtain a permit from the Council. This includes items such as tables, chairs and barriers, commonly known as Street Cafes.
All new applicants must have valid planning permission in place prior to making an application for street cafe permit. You can apply for planning permission and find more information about the planning process, including timescales and fees on the Council's Planning and Development Management pages.
All permits are subject to a number of general conditions. These conditions ensure that the operation of a street cafe does not negatively impact upon the surrounding area.
How to apply
Alternatively, you can complete our Street trading application form for table and chairs.
Once we have received your application we undertake a consultation process. For the consultation we need to:
display a public notice on or as near to the premises as possible
gain the consent of the businesses that adjoin your premises (described in the Highways Act as “frontagers with an interest”)
All responses must be received within the 28 day consultation period. Any responses after the 28 day period are deemed to be out of time. If there are no objections to the application we will grant the permit.
If we receive objections to your street cafe permit application we will meet with you to discuss the objections and try and find ways to resolve the issues. If the objections are not resolved the application will be considered by a Council committee. The Committee will consider your application, the objections and any recommendations made by Council officers. They will then decide whether to grant or refuse your permit.
Status of the permit
Street cafe permit are not granted permanently. Street cafe permits are similar to the licences issued for placing scaffolding or skips on the public highway. They have no long-term status and can be withdrawn if the cafe's operation causes problems.
Renewing your permit
Permits run from 1 April to 31 March. If you apply for a permit mid way through the year you will need to renew it by 31 March. The fee payable is not pro rata and you will need to pay the full application and renewal fee if you apply mid year.
Existing permit holders will be issued an invoice one month prior to the expiry of the permit. Once paid, a new permit will be issued. You do not need to complete an application form unless you wish to make any changes to your permit.
Making changes to your permit
If you wish to make any changes to your permit, for example by amending the number of items permitted to be placed on the highway, or extending the hours permitted you must first seek advice from the Planning Department who will confirm if planning consent is required.
Once you obtain planning consent (if necessary) you will need to apply for a new permit with the desired changes.
Details of all of our fees can be found on our fees page.