Pavement Cafés

Photograph of outdoor chairs and tables

From 1 October 2016 Licensing of Pavement Cafes (NI) Act 2014 comes into effect and café, restaurant and bars who place tables and chairs on public pavements will need to hold a pavement cafe licence from their local council. This Northern Ireland wide legislation will help ensure that pavement cafes are well regulated and contribute positively to our town centres and villages.

Pavement Café Licence Application consultations

June 2020 Update

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is keen to support our local businesses in hospitality sector in preparation for easing of the COVID lockdown restrictions. The Council will be relaxing some of its requirements of the Pavement Licencing scheme and will be trying to facilitate hospitality businesses requests to use pavement space as much as possible.

The Council will give tacit consent and permit the placing of tables and chairs on public pavements in advance of a formal approval of a pavement café licence in the following circumstances:-

  • Business have completed an application form and provided a drawing of proposed pavement café area.
  • The Council have confirmed the area of pavement is a suitable area for a pavement café and does not give rise to hazards for pedestrians.
  • The Business has displayed the public consultation notice on its premises.
  • The business has suitable furniture and arrangements to enclose the café area.
  • The business has suitable public liability insurance covering the pavement café area.
  • Businesses should follow the specific guidance issued by the Council when planning their pavement café area. They should also consider the need to maintain social distancing in these locations.

The Council cannot guarantee that a pavement café licence will be issued as part of this process and businesses should be aware that if an issue is raised during the consultation or approval process they may be asked to remove their pavement cafe.

Will I need a Pavement Café Licence?

If your business sells food or drink and you wish to place tables and chairs outside your business on an area of the public pavement then you will require a Pavement Café Licence from us.

How much will a Pavement Café licence cost?

We has decided there will be no fee for the licence.

How long will a licence last for?

A Pavement Café Licence will initially be granted for 3 years.

How to apply for a Pavement Café Licence?

Anyone wishing to apply for a Pavement Café License should read the our guidance information which outlines the various requirements for having a suitable pavement café area. You may also wish to discuss your proposal with an officer from Environmental Health department.

What documents do I need to supply with my application?

To apply for a Pavement Café Licence you will need to provide us with the following information:

  • Completed application form
  • Evidence of Public Liability Insurance of at least £5million which shows that your cover includes the provision of a pavement café on public footpath.
  • An accurate plan showing the dimensions of your proposed pavement café area and details of the furniture and enclosure.
  • A scale 1:500 ACEmap of the location of your premises – these are available from NI Direct.

For further information contact us at E: