Pavement licences reminder for Ilfracombe’s street cafes

Posted on: 3 May 2016

Ilfracombe’s street cafes, restaurants and eateries are being reminded that they must hold a licence if they want to put tables and chairs on a pavement or public street.

The reminder follows complaints that tables and chairs from some street cafes without pavement licences have blocked and obstructed pavements and public thoroughfares in the town.

Traditionally in May, as the weather gets warmer, many businesses begin placing tables and chairs outside on pavements.

All businesses including cafés, restaurants, takeaways and public houses in Devon must have a pavement licence if they place tables and chairs on a public highway.

Licences are vital in ensuring they don’t block access for the disabled, people with buggies, wheelchair users and the partially sighted – that’s why applications will only be considered where there is at least two metres of footway for pedestrians.

Licensing ensures that pavement cafes are located, designed and managed in a way that protects the rights of pedestrians, neighbours, adjacent businesses and users.

A new licence is £200 for a year and £85 for a renewal of an existing licence and is available from Devon County Council. Exeter, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot and Totnes councils issue licences locally.

In a pilot scheme during May, Devon County Council (DCC) highways officers will visit businesses in the town and explain the licencing process and what the purpose of it is. DCC is currently working to make the application process quicker and easier for businesses and traders.

Highways officers can remove tables and chairs if businesses do not have a licence, or do not comply with the licensing requirements.
The intention is to roll this approach out across Devon.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cllr Stuart Hughes

Highways, said: “A vibrant café culture in our towns is good for the economy and our local communities.  This isn’t about singling anybody out –  we intend to remind businesses in Devon of their responsibilities.

“Over May we will remind businesses in Ilfracombe who put tables and chairs on the highway that they need to obtain a licence from us, and we will be giving them a fair chance to do that.

“A licence will set out how many tables and chairs can be put out and where they can and can’t be placed.

“Many businesses already have licences and it isn’t fair that some pay and some don’t. To help applicants we are also looking at ways we can make the application process less cumbersome for businesses and we would welcome any feedback from business owners about this.

“We must make sure everyone is able to use pavements, including the elderly and disabled, without obstruction.

“It is also important to ensure that neighbours are aware that a business is planning to put out tables and chairs, and have the opportunity to give their views before they are placed.”

For more information and to apply for a licence click here to go to our web page.
If businesses or traders have any suggestions for improvements please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0345 155 1004.

Posted in: Community | Environment