Local businesses are now able to apply through Camden Council’s website for a pavement licence allowing them to trade outdoors.
The council hopes that the use of the licences, to be offered under new legislation making it easier for businesses hard hit by the impact of lockdown to reopen safely, will act as a “significant boost” for the hospitality sector locally.
In a bid to balance concerns around public safety and health with the needs of the local economy, Town Hall officers will be patrolling high streets and centres to ensure businesses are complying with social distancing guidelines.
Cllr Nadia Shah, cabinet member for safer communities, said: “We want to reassure our community that while we will continue to support our hospitality sector to reopen safely, we are also working closely with residents, businesses and partner organisations to address any possible anti-social behaviour arising as the lockdown restrictions are eased.”
Businesses applying for a pavement licence will have to display a public notice about the application in their shop-front window for seven days, with a new email alert system also introduced for locals to receive notifications about new licensing applications in their area.
Interested parties will have the opportunity to have their say on any applications and are asked to contact the council if they have any concerns about a new license.
Councillor Danny Beales, cabinet member for investing in communities and an inclusive economy, said: “Whilst many businesses have struggled through loss of revenue during the initial lockdown period, the hospitality sector has suffered particularly due to the nature of the environment they operate in and the overriding need to protect customers and staff.
“Whilst licenses for premises are set out in statute, new legislation called the Business and Planning Act 2020 has recently been passed which will make it easier and cheaper for cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars to be able to apply to the council for a licence to use their immediate outdoor space to seat and serve customers outdoors.
“We have worked quickly to introduce a new online application process to support our hospitality sector to apply for a ‘Pavement Licence’ which allows the placement and use of tables and chairs on adjacent footpaths and streets, whilst also ensuring that any concerns about public safety and enforcement are addressed.”