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Alfresco license

We want to support bars, cafes and restaurants to succeed in these challenging times and although they may have limited interior space, we want businesses to take advantage of the outside.

We also want to transform the heart of our high streets by highlighting and expanding its alfresco and continental feel and give more space to people to enjoy our beautiful areas and what they have to offer. Offering outdoor or ‘Alfresco’ dining to customers is a great opportunity to increase trade.


During and following the pandemic, we previously provided alfresco (pavement) licenses free of charge but due to the administration, management and operational costs involved, we now need to charge for them.

Costs have been reviewed and from 1 October 2023, in recognition of the hospitality sectors ongoing contribution to the vibrancy of the high street and the increase in costs faced by businesses, a reduced charge will apply until 30 September 2024.

This will give a further year before the full licence cost is charged. The charge from 1 October 2023 is £100 for five seats or more and just £50 for spaces with four seats or less.

We will be reviewing our charges from October 2024 and are likely to follow the government guidelines in the 'Levelling Up Bill' and charge £450 for a license of five chairs or more and £106 for four seats or less. This will allow us to fully cover our costs.

We’ll write to you in summer 2024 to remind you to renew your license and give detail of the fee.

Businesses are expected to run their Alfresco areas in line with up-to-date national guidance

How do I apply?

You will need the following before you can submit your application:

  • a site plan to a scale of no less than 1:100 showing the location and dimensions of the area and its associated furniture (in the case of a pedestrian area, the line of the opposite units must to be shown)
  • a valid insurance policy
  • premise licence (where applicable)
  • it is expected that prior to application, businesses discuss their proposals with nearby businesses

Once the application has been submitted you will be asked to display a notice for five days in the premise the alfresco application relates to. This notice will invite comments and detail how representations can be made. We will provide you with a decision within five working days following the expiry of the notice. Application documents will be shared for consultation purposes.

Apply for an alfresco licence

Successful applicants will be granted a licence until 30 September 2024.