In recognition of the unprecedented challenges faced by businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, the cabinet member for highways and infrastructure has taken the decision to waive the fee for the licensing of tables and chairs on pavements outside cafes and restaurants in West Sussex until April 1, 2021.
However, businesses will still need to apply for a licence. These details will help council officers’ efforts to ensure the highway is controlled for public safety, such as ensuring social distancing measures are in place and that there are no obstructions for passers-by who have disabilities, such as the visually impaired.
Cllr Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We recognise the need to support local businesses as the country enters recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This action supports the reopening of high streets across the county whilst ensuring we keep members of the public safe.”
The council will be reviewing any licence fees for the current year which have already been paid and traders will be contacted.
Placing tables and chairs on pavements increases traders’ floor space, helps businesses and can significantly enhance public spaces.
Highway officers carry out regular inspections to ensure the pavement is not unreasonably obstructed and remains safe for the public due to the increased wear caused by the movement of tables and chairs on the footway. A licence fee helps to cover the cost of staff time, administration and other associated costs.