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Tables and chairs on the pavement

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

Many pubs, restaurants, wine bars and cafés may wish to have seating and tables outside their premises for the use of their customers.

Where the pavement concerned 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 the location of the amenity in terms of possible noise disturbance for local residents and nearby shops and offices.

Planning permission should be sought from your borough/district council while we (as the highway authority) are responsible for issuing the highway licence. Our highway offices will deal with applications within their area.

Before you apply, please read the guidance notes and the terms and conditions attached with the application form below

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How do I apply for a licence?

  • You can apply and renew your licence online via the Gov.uk website
  • You can apply and renew your licence by post, by downloading the application form below.
  • You can contact us via our contact centre, if you wish us to post you out an application form.

Please note that if you wish to change your existing licence, then you will need to submit a new application form, either online or via the post.

How much does the licence cost?

If the seating and table arrangements are under 3 square-metres, then there is no fee. However an application must still be submitted. 

If the seating and table arrangements use an area of 3-10 square metres, then a flat fee of £104.00 is applicable. A further cost of £52.00 per additional square-metre is then applied.

If you apply online via the Gov.uk website, you can also pay online using your debit or credit card.

If you apply by downloading and completing the application form below, please enclose a cheque made payable to Surrey County Council, with your application form.

Please note the relevant district/borough council will charge fees for planning applications.

What documentation is required?

  • A full copy of planning consent issued by the borough/district council, including plans or a copy of a letter stating it is not required.
  • A copy of Public Liability Insurance for a minimum of £5 million in respect of any one incident.
  • Details of the furniture you intend to use.
  • A plan showing any boundary treatment, including planters.

How long is the licence valid for?

All licences are valid from 1 April to 31 March. Licences irrespective of date of issue will be renewed from the 1 April for which the current fee will be payable.

What if I have any queries, concerns or complaints?

If you have queries, concerns or complaints about the licence, you can contact us via our contact centre either online or by telephone. For further details on logging a comment, compliment or complaints please see our website.

If you have any queries, concerns or complaints about the location or safety of materials on the public highway, please either contact us by telephone via our contact centre or report them online directly to us.

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  • Updated: 25 May 2016
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