Apply for a pavement café licence

If you want to have a seating area outside your business where people can eat or drink things they’ve bought from you, you’ll need a licence.

There are two types of licence you can apply for: 

  • pavement café licence
  • temporary pavement café licence – brought in to help businesses recover during Covid-19 and has been extended

Any Sheffield business can apply for one of these licences.

Temporary pavement café licence

The temporary pavement café licence is free to apply for and will run until 30 September 2024. .

What you need to provide

You'll need to send us:

  • proof that you have public liability insurance of at least £2 million
  • proof of appropriate risk assessments
  • a plan showing the size and layout of your pavement café area, with measurements

Your application will be shared with the Planning and Highways teams as part of the approval process.

After you submit your application

We will try to process your application within five working days. You can put your pavement café in place as soon as you’ve applied, but bear in mind we may ask you to remove it if your application is not approved.

You will not be able to play amplified music in your pavement café area with a temporary pavement café licence. You will need a regular pavement café licence to do this. 

Renewing your temporary licence

If you have a temporary pavement café licence you want to renew, and nothing about your pavement café has changed, just email and let the team know you’d like to renew your licence.

If something has changed, like the size or layout of the pavement café, you’ll need to submit a new application.​

For more information on what other types of licences and permits there are contact

Get in touch with both and for details of any permissions you may need from them.

Pavement café licence

The pavement café licence is valid for one year from the date it is granted. 

You will need to renew it each year before it expires.


It costs £115 to apply for a new licence or to renew your current licence.

What you need to provide

You'll need to send us:

  • a completed application form (and privacy statement if applying by post)
  • £115 application fee (or payment reference if applying by post)
  • planning consent (if applicable)
  • highways consent
  • location and site layout plan
  • furniture appearance
  • Public Liability Insurance of at least £2 million
  • risk assessment
  • written consent of adjacent land owner
  • premises licence (if applicable)

After you submit your application

Once we receive your application, we will place a public notice near the area you would like to place furniture. 

For the next 28 days, we will consult with any other relevant authorities and take into account any comments.

If there are issues or objections to your application, we will tell you as soon as we can. 

Your application will then be determined by a licensing committee which you will be invited to attend.

If no comments are made, we will try to process your application within 14 days from the end of the consultation.

You cannot put your pavement café in place until we have let you know that your application has been approved.

Apply by post

Before you send your application by post, you should pay online first and provide a reference of payment with your submitted application.

You can then download and print the application form and send it to us by post.

Additional licences

You'll need separate permissions or licences for any activities hosted at your café apart from eating and drinking. You'll need to make this clear on your application. These could include market stalls, areas for dancing and cinema screens.

Sale of alcohol

If you have a licence to sell alcohol on your premises, this will allow you to sell alcohol in your pavement café area too until 31 March 2025. This is because the Government has extended the Alcohol Off-Sale Provision Easement created during Covid-19.

Amplified music

If you have a (regular) pavement café licence and would like to play amplified music, please check any planning permission and/or Premises Licence you already have as this may be covered there.

If you're not sure, contact the licensing team at

Requirements for your pavement café

You must:

  • open between the hours of 10am and 9pm, unless you have special consent
  • keep within the shop frontage, unless you have special consent
  • provide tap barriers around your pavement café area so that visually impaired people can find their way around it safely
  • leave a 1.5 meter clear space between the outside of your tap barriers and the outer edge of the footpath, so there is enough room for everyone to get past safely
  • control and clear litter and debris in and around your pavement café
  • remove all tables and chairs from the outside area by 9:30pm, or within 30 minutes of your closing time if you have got permission to close later

You may not:

  • place A-boards outside of the barriers
  • play music, live broadcasts or social commentary
  • use barbecues, fire pits or naked flames

How to make an appeal or a complaint

If you want to appeal a decision you should contact us in the first instance.

Members of the public who are experiencing problems with a licensed premises should contact us for advice.

Contact the Licensing Team

0114 273 4264
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
Block C
Staniforth Road Depot
S9 3HD

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