Street cafe licence

The Business and Planning Act 2020 as amended by the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023
With effect from 31/03/2024 the above Acts have introduced a permanent change to the way most local authorities authorise the placing of tables and chairs on the public highway. Reading Borough Council is currently working on a new street pavement cafe policy. Please note, this page only applies to businesses wanting to provide tables and chairs on the public highway in connection with consumption of food and drink. Any premises that does not sell food or drink, for example, a salon, will need to apply for authorisation under the Highways Act 1980. Please email

You can read the government guidance. In addition to this, please read our policy and guidance information.

You will need to ensure you operate within our street pavement cafe conditions and ensure that you meet the street pavement cafe pre-application checklist.

Any applications for a licence beyond 11pm will only be considered if your premises employs SIA door security and the use of the tables and chairs is included in your risk assessment. Any applications for beyond midnight will be objected to and a committee hearing will be arranged.

How to apply

You must apply online. The fee for this application is £100.

On the date of application you must erect a public notice and ensure that the notice remains on display for 14 days, following the date of application. This notice must be displayed where it can be easily read by passing members of the public at any time. Failure to do so will invalidate your application and require you to resubmit your application.

Following the 14 day consultation, the council will have 14 days to determine the application.

Duration of licence

The duration of all pavement cafe licences granted before the 31/03/2024 will be from the date they are granted until 30 September 2024.

The duration of all pavement cafe licences granted after 31/03/2024 will be 2 years unless there is a justifiable reason to grant them for a lesser period..

To apply for a Street Pavement Café Permit under the Highways Act 1980, please e-mail requesting more information.’

Current street pavement café licence applications

ApplicantPremisesApplication typeClosing date for representations

The consultation period is 14 days from the date of application. If you wish to make a representation, please email stating the grounds for your objection. Any representations received after the consultation period will not be considered.

Last updated on 14/06/2024