Al fresco licences get easier

Mendip District Council is offering quick, cut-price “Pavement Licences” for bars, restaurants and pubs serving food and drink al fresco, to help high streets recover post-lockdown.

Hospitality businesses keen to maximise capacity, while still observing social distancing guidelines, will now find it easier and cheaper to obtain permission to place tables and chairs on pavements outside their premises.

Pavement Licences are normally granted by Somerset County Council, as the Highways Authority. But the Government – in seeking to speed things up – temporarily transferred responsibility to distribute these licences to district councils in Somerset, including Mendip.

The move reduces application periods for Pavement Licences by half from 28 calendar days to 14 (this includes a seven-day consultation, plus seven-day determination period by the council).

And there will be cut-price licences too, costing £100 each instead of close to £400.

Full details and online application forms can be found here: