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Tables and chairs on the pavement

Coronavirus: temporary suspension for applications

Following the recent government announcement and closure of restaurants and cafes, we are temporarily suspending applications for Tables and Chairs licences.

We will review this regularly in line with government guidance, and update this page as soon as we start to accept applications again.

Many pubs, restaurants, wine bars and cafés may wish to have seating and tables outside their premises for the use of their customers. This page gives information on how to apply for a licence to place tables and chairs on the highway.

Page contents

Do I require a licence for placing tables or chairs outside my premises?

If you wish to place tables or chairs on the pavement and it is part of the public highway, planning permission and a highway licence will need to be obtained.

This is to ensure that adequate space is available for the safe and free movement of all highway users and that consideration is given to possible noise disturbance for local residents and nearby shops and offices.

Surrey County Council are responsible for issuing the highway licence. Your local District or Borough Council are responsible for issuing planning permission.

What are the terms and conditions?

Before you apply, please read the guidance for permission to run a pavement café page .

How long is the licence valid for?

All licences are valid from 1 April to 31 March.

From 1 April of each year, all licences are due for renewal, irrespective of the date they had been issued previously.

How do I apply for a licence?

We are temporarily suspending applications. This is due to the government restrictions on restaurants and cafes. We will review this regularly in line with government guidance.

How much does the licence cost?

Area covered by the table and seats arrangementFee
Under 3 square metres No fee (but an application must still be submitted)
3 - 10 square metres £112 (flat fee)
Each additional square-metre, over 10 square metres £52 per m2 (additional to flat fee)

There may be additional charge fees from your local District or Borough Council for planning application costs.

What documentation is required?

Please send us copies of the following information with your application:

  • Planning consent issued by the Borough or District Council (including plans) or a copy of a letter stating it is not required.
  • Public Liability Insurance for a minimum of £10 million in respect of any one incident.
  • Details of the furniture you intend to use.
  • A plan showing any boundary treatment, including planters.

What if I have any queries, concerns or complaints?

If you have queries, concerns or complaints about the licence, please contact us.