Accessibility Statement
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Standards and Procedures for the Regulation of Pavement Cafés

Applying for licence to place tables and chairs on the public highway

(Adopted 23 May 2006 - Amended July 2006)


Tameside has much to offer by the way of creating an environment that makes the Borough attractive to visitors and residents alike. With extensively pedestrianised areas and weather permitting, the addition of good quality pavement cafes can contribute to a relaxed and sociable style of eating and drinking indicative of any continental society.

The purpose of this brief is two-fold:

  • To highlight the requirements and standards expected of pavement café operations within Tameside
  • To guide those wishing to establish and/or operate pavement cafes through the licensing process

Pavement cafes within Tameside, which are not situated on privately owned land, are licensed by Tameside Council by the granting of a Highways Amenities Licence. The licence is renewable annually.

Planning consent may be required and applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate planning consent in place prior to submission of the pavement café application.

The Licence application process involves specific procedures, hence the need to follow the guidance in this brochure and on the application forms which need to be completed by all applicants.

Upon receipt of an application, it should normally take 2-3 months for the application to be determined.

This guide is produced in two parts:

  • Design Considerations

    General Considerations and Information - Guidance on size, layout, means of enclosure, furniture, environmental and other requirements/recommendations.

  • Application Information

    General information.
    Application for a Highways Amenities Licence

Local Restrictions

Within the Borough of Tameside certain locations are able to accommodate pavement seating. There are, however, other areas where pavement seating cannot be accommodated due to width restrictions, other obstructions, very heavily pedestrianised routes, a potential nuisance issues.

Each application will be considered on its own merits and Tameside MBC therefore reserves the right to refuse applications, if it is considered inappropriate.

Design Considerations

General Considerations

Size and Layout

Outdoor seating areas should be located outside/clear of the lines of main pedestrian movement. Where the pedestrian desire line on the street follows the building line, a clear pedestrian route (normally not less than 2 metres wide) shall be maintained on the highway adjacent to the building line. Where suitable recesses exist along the building line, or where the pedestrian desire line is away from a building's frontage, seating areas may be located adjacent to the building line. Each outdoor seating area will be considered individually on its own merits, and the 2 metre wide pedestrian route adjacent to the building line will be introduced where appropriate. In areas of high pedestrian flows it may be necessary to leave a clear route of greater than 2 metres in width.

The area to be used must take into account other needs in the immediate vicinity e.g. kerbside parking, bus stops and pedestrian crossing. In any event a minimum distance of 1.8 metres must be kept between the kerbline of regularly trafficked routes and the pavement café boundary.

The layout of furniture and means of enclosure will only be approved if adequate provision has been made for customers with disabilities.

All emergency exits and routes must be kept clear.

Any pavement café has the potential to impact on the local environment. If the proposed area fronts other properties, then prior consent of these owners/occupiers will be required. A public notice must be displayed at the property clearly displayed and visible from the outside of the premises, this notice will be supplied to you by the Council following receipt of your application. In addition the Council is obliged to contact your neighbours to inform them of your application, you may therefore find it helpful to discuss your application with your neighbours prior to submitting it to the Council

Means of Enclosure

When in use the pavement café area will need to be enclosed, to demarcate the licensed area which contains the tables and chairs, thus making it distinguishable from other pavement users and particularly to assist blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

Each day the enclosure shall be removed outside the licensed period or when the pavement café is not intending to operate within the licensed period. The materials should therefore be lightweight in construction and portable, but stable enough to prevent collapse if accidentally walked/stumbled into.

The design of the barrier should complement the character of the surrounding area and in any event must have solid bars/elements at around 100mm and 1000mm above above ground level. Rope barriers are not considered suitable.

Planters can be particularly attractive and can be used as part of the means of enclosure, but must be removed from the highway outside of licensed period.

Any proposed means of permanent enclosure will require planning consent in addition to other approvals, the licence holder will also have to consider the impact of the permanent fixtures on street cleaning, and may have to take on additional responsibility for highway cleansing/maintenance.

In certain circumstances existing street railing may be utilised as a suitable means of enclosure.


The furniture should be of a high quality and uniform style within the licensed area. White plastic and/or picnic tables will not normally be approved.

Where umbrellas are used they are to be positioned so as to avoid overhanging outside the enclosure or impairing vehicle sight lines; no insensitive or inappropriate advertisements should be displayed.

Non-furniture items, e.g. menu boards, signs and portable gas heaters, also need to be approved as part of the enclosed licensed area and any unacceptable clutter or intrusion into sight lines will need to be removed if it is seen to be causing a problem.

Environmental and Other Requirements

Environmental issues may mean that in some locations, pavement cafés would not be appropriate whilst in other areas the impact can be controlled by licence conditions. For example, in certain parts of the Borough the quality of air from traffic fumes makes it inappropriate to site pavement café operations. Please consider the nearness of the bus stops and taxi ranks from the customer's point of view. In addition to air quality issues noise nuisance may be a relevant consideration particularly in residential areas or where there are noise sensitive premises located nearby

All food premises are registered by Tameside Council's Environmental Services. All pavement café operations must comply with the relevant food and health and safety requirements. Applicants will be required to provide copies of risk assessments carried out under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as they relate to the area and activities covered by the pavement café.

Additional/adequate toilet provisions relating to occupancy numbers may also need to borne in mind.

Standard Conditions of Licence

  1. The granting of a Highways Amenities Licence applies only to the applicant in respect of the premises concerned and is outside of and in addition to a licence to sell liquor. Where liquor is sold a Licensing Act premises licence will be required,
  2. Any changes to any part of the pavement café operations (including furniture, other items, area or operating hours) must be notified to the Council in writing and may be the subject of a new or revised licence.
  3. All customers using the pavement café will be required to be seated. Vertical drinking will not be permitted within the licensed area.
  4. All the licences are issued in the name of the Operator/Licensee. If the Operator/Licensee changes the licensee is obliged to notify Tameside Council in writing of any changes. A transfer of the Highways Amenities Licence to the new Operator/Licensee must then be sorted out.
  5. The Highways Amenities Licence will not normally operate outside the hours of 9.00am to 9.00pm. In certain areas there may be amendments to those hours due to specific local highway requirements, or other environmental issues, e.g. nuisance.
  6. The Licensee shall indemnify the Council against all actions, proceedings, claims, demands and liability which may at any time be taken, made or incurred in consequence of the use or presence of the chairs and tables and other objects and for this purpose must take out at the Licensee's expense a policy of insurance approved by the Council in the sum of at least £2,000,000 in respect of any one event (5,000,000 total cover) and must produce to the Council on request the current receipts for the premium payment and confirmation of the renewals of the policy.
  7. Where the Borough Council is the owner of the sub-soil beneath the highway, an annual rental charge can be made on the licensed area, in addition to the licence fee.
  8. Where repair or maintenance of the pavement/highway is to be undertaken, the Council and/or Utility Companies will endeavour to give the licence holder adequate notice. The Council will not be liable for any loss of earnings whilst repair/maintenance is carried out. The licence holder must allow the Council reasonable access for such works.
  9. The licence holder must, as soon as reasonably practicable upon identification, notify the Council's Highway Services section of any repair/maintenance work required to the highway surface.
  10. It will be the responsibility of the pavement café operator to keep the area clean and free of litter, during licensed/operational hours. Waste from the Licensee's operations must not be disposed of in the permanent litter bins provided by the Council.
  11. Tables must be serviced by waiters/waitresses.
  12. In order to promote a continental style culture and in line with the Council's Community Strategy, the Council would normally expect the sale of alcohol at a pavement café to be ancillary to the provision of table meals.
  13. The Licensee shall make no claim or charge against the Council in the event of the chairs or tables or other objects being lost, stolen or damaged in any way from whatever cause.
  14. No charge shall be made by the Licensee for the use of the chairs or tables or other objects.
  15. Tables and chairs shall not be affixed to the highway and should not be stored on the highway when they are not in use, e.g. during inclement weather or before or after the street café is open.
  16. Furniture should be safely stored away from public areas in such a location where it is safe, secure and unable to be accessed by members of the public.
  17. The applicant to be responsible for carrying out the reinstatement of the highway in the event of any damage to the highway occurring as a result of the activity. The permanent surface reinstatement shall be carried out to the satisfaction of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, at the applicant's expense and guaranteed for a minimum period of two years.
  18. The Licensee shall be responsible for any rates, taxes and other outgoings which may be charged.
  19. The licence does not authorise any unlawful interference with the convenience of persons using the highway or affects the rights of owners of the premises adjoining the highway or the rights of the Utility Companies.
  20. The Council shall be entitled to revoke the licence on a temporary basis on the occurrence of a special event or any other circumstance which the Council considers to necessitate a temporary revocation.

In addition, where the application is determined by the Council's Speakers Panel or following successful mediation, additional licence conditions may be added and or amendments made to the standard conditions listed above.

Where non-compliance with licence conditions is found, the Council's Speakers Panel may consider imposition of additional licence conditions or suspension and/or revocation of the licence.

All licences are subject to annual renewal, and inspection by the Council to ensure continued compliance with licence conditions.

Application Information

General Information

Applying for a licence

In the first instance please telephone the following:

The Licensing Section - Tel: 0161 301 1345

The application form for the Highways Amenities Licence (0.05MB) needs to be completed and submitted with the enclosures detailed on the next sheet to Licensing Section, Tameside MBC, Council Offices, Wellington Road, Ashton Under Lyne, OL7 9QP

Fees for applications/renewals are as follows:

  • Fee for applying for a new Highway Amenities Licence = £150.00
  • Fee for annual renewal/of Licence to new Licensee = £100.00

Consultation and Public Notice

As part of the application you will be required to display a notice clearly visible on the outside of your premises outlining your proposals and inviting representations from Interested Parties, this notice will be supplied to you by the Licensing service. The notice must be in the prescribed format and displayed for a minimum of 28 days from the date of the notice. In addition the Council is obliged to contact your neighbours to inform them of the application and invite any representations from them

Copies of the application have also to be sent to named consultees. Details of contact names and addresses are provided at the end of the application form. As the applicant you are responsible for ensuring copies are provided to the named consultees. The Council will ensure neighbours are notified.

Useful Contacts

Tameside MBC
Licensing - Telephone Number 0161 301 1345 Send Electronic Message Send a Message to Licensing
Planning - Telephone Number 0161 342 3128 Send Electronic Message Send a Message to Planning
Highways - Telephone Number 0161 342 4460 Send Electronic Message Send a Message to Land Use Development
Environmental Health - Telephone Number 0161 342 3778 Send Electronic Message Send a Message to Environmental Health

Greater Manchester Police
Greater Manchester Police - Contact: The Police Licensing Officer Telephone Number 0161 856 9352

Progress Reports

To obtain a progress report on your application please contact:

Licensing Section - Tel: 0161 342 4262

View the procedure that will be followed for the processing of applications.

Location Plan

Please supply an A4 location plan clearly outlining the premises and location of proposed outdoor seating area. Suggested scales 1:1250/1:500.

Site Plan

Please supply a site plan with the following information: Suggested scales 1:1250/1:100

  • Access points
  • Building lines
  • Boundaries
  • Kerbs
  • Dimensions of seating area
  • Table and chair arrangement
  • Other furniture/items layout
  • Plan and elevations (1:50) of barriers/enclosure


Please enclose your cheque made payable to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. For appropriate rate please see Fees above.


Please supply evidence of £5 Million Public Liability Insurance cover.

Please return completed form with enclosures to:

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Licensing Office
Council Offices
Ashton Under Lyne
Contact by Telephone
0161 301 1345
Contact by Fax
0161 301 3047
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