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Al Fresco Dining

Cheshire East Council is today launching a new streamlined application process to support businesses to introduce Al Fresco facilities.

This supports the Council’s overall approach in supporting our high streets, town centres and the hospitality sector as part of our economic recovery plan arising from the pandemic

You may be aware that new legislation, the Business and Planning Act 2020, has recently been introduced to help businesses adjust to new ways of working as the country recovers from disruption caused by COVID-19. The Act contains measures on a range of subjects, including pavement and alcohol licensing.

To help food and beverage operators to maximise their capacity whilst complying with social distancing guidelines, the Act introduces a streamlined procedure for pubs, bars, restaurants and others selling food or drink for consumption, to obtain a “Pavement Licence” from the local authority, allowing operators to put removable furniture on part of the highway adjacent to their premises for use in connection with the sale, serving, or consumption of food and drink. Details of the Act can be found at along with government guidance

The application process is straightforward and subject to a modest fee of £100.

For more information on the application and how to apply visit:

The new council policy (attached) will help prospective applicants, who should familiarise themselves with the specified details before applying. This sets out probable areas where licences will be permitted and the process to be followed and the relevant conditions.

All businesses with outdoor seating on the public highway require a licence. The council is encouraging any business already providing or seeking to provide al fresco facilities on public highways to apply for a pavement licence. Businesses also need to check that they have adequate public liability insurance to cover the area in question, as failure to have a licence may affect their insurance cover.

The new streamlined process will take no longer than 10 working days, 5 of which will be consultation days where local ward members, Town and Parish councils representing the area and others such as the Police will be asked to provide any views pertaining to the application.

We ask that you take cognisance of the condensed consultation period which is in accordance with new legislation and ensure that responses are received within the 5 working day period. Please note that it will not be possible to consider comments received after the expiration of the 5 day period as the Council must make a decision within 10 working days or the licence is deemed to have been granted.


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