Consultations

Pavement Cafes Licence Fee

Overview

From 1 October 2016 the Licensing of Pavement Cafes (NI) Act 2014 comes into effect and any business who sells food or drink wishing to place tables and chairs on public pavements will need to hold a pavement cafe licence from their local council. Businesses can apply for such a licence from their local Council.

Well-regulated pavement cafes have a very positive effect on urban and village environments, adding vitality and interest to the street scene as well as maximising the use of public spaces.  They can also add to the facilities offered to all who visit, live and work in the Borough and aid the local economy.  However, it is important that pavement cafes are well designed and managed so that they do not obstruct the footway or create a hazard for pedestrians, especially for blind, partially sighted and other disabled persons. In addition, they should not cause noise disturbance or other nuisance to residents or neighbouring businesses.

The Licensing of Pavement Cafes (NI) Act 2014 will allow Councils to introduce and administer a licensing regime and this will include establishing operating standards and deciding upon how long a licence should last for and whether or not to charge a fee.Section 12 requires the Council to consult on any fee it intends to charge and make available the details of how the fee was calculated.

In order to support local retailers and provide a welcome boost to the vibrancy of our towns and villages, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is currently proposing not to charge a fee for businesses to apply for a pavement café licence in the Borough and it is also proposing that initially, the licence will cover a three year period.

The three year licence as proposed will give a bedding in period for the new licensing regime, at the end of which the issue of licence fees and duration will be reviewed.

By making it as easy as possible to apply for the licence, the Council hopes that businesses will be able to take advantage of the new public realm schemes that have, or will soon be, complete in the Borough.

As part of the public consultation, anyone is welcome to give their views on the proposals.