Pavement Café Licensing Scheme - Licensees

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Consultation has concluded

Survey for café, restaurant owners and existing licensees only

To help the hospitality sector during the pandemic, Belfast City Council introduced a temporary process to consider pavement café licence applications. This temporary scheme is due to end on 31 December 2023, with a permanent pavement café licensing scheme starting on 1 January 2024.

It is proposed that the permanent scheme will mirror the temporary scheme in most aspects. However, what was deemed acceptable for a temporary licence during the pandemic to help businesses will need to be reconsidered and may no longer be appropriate within a permanent scheme. For example, the location may no longer be considered suitable by DFI Roads, the size of the pavement café may need to be reduced as there may not be enough clear space in or around it for access, or the type of furniture and enclosure may not be satisfactory.

There are other factors that will need to be considered in a permanent scheme. Fees are likely to be applicable to the permanent scheme; there will be increased monitoring; and proportional enforcement of both licensed and unlicensed pavement cafés is proposed.

Before bringing in the permanent pavement café licensing scheme, we are carrying out this consultation exercise to gather:

  • Any positive and negative experiences of pavement cafés since the introduction of the temporary licensing scheme
  • Views about a pavement café licensing scheme in general and specific aspects of it.

Our consultation will inform the implementation and detail of the permanent scheme.

Please check out our FAQs and Important Links sections for more information on the pavement café license scheme.

Survey for café, restaurant owners and existing licensees only

To help the hospitality sector during the pandemic, Belfast City Council introduced a temporary process to consider pavement café licence applications. This temporary scheme is due to end on 31 December 2023, with a permanent pavement café licensing scheme starting on 1 January 2024.

It is proposed that the permanent scheme will mirror the temporary scheme in most aspects. However, what was deemed acceptable for a temporary licence during the pandemic to help businesses will need to be reconsidered and may no longer be appropriate within a permanent scheme. For example, the location may no longer be considered suitable by DFI Roads, the size of the pavement café may need to be reduced as there may not be enough clear space in or around it for access, or the type of furniture and enclosure may not be satisfactory.

There are other factors that will need to be considered in a permanent scheme. Fees are likely to be applicable to the permanent scheme; there will be increased monitoring; and proportional enforcement of both licensed and unlicensed pavement cafés is proposed.

Before bringing in the permanent pavement café licensing scheme, we are carrying out this consultation exercise to gather:

  • Any positive and negative experiences of pavement cafés since the introduction of the temporary licensing scheme
  • Views about a pavement café licensing scheme in general and specific aspects of it.

Our consultation will inform the implementation and detail of the permanent scheme.

Please check out our FAQs and Important Links sections for more information on the pavement café license scheme.