CAFE and restaurant owners looking to put tables on Solihull’s pavements are set to have license applications fast-tracked.
Government recommendations to help social distancing include making it easier for restaurateurs to seat customers outdoors.
Solihull council’s licensing committee is today (July 30) deciding on how to quickly allow the borough’s premises to get pavement trading permits.
Applicants will pay a maximum of £100 for permits, down from a former minimum charge of £230, and should expect an answer from the council within a fortnight.
If Solihull council does not respond, the applicant will benefit from ‘deemed consent.’
Licensed premises will also be able to sell alcohol as off-sales with the permits.
Team leader for licensing, Anne Bettison, wrote to the committee: “This streamlined process is intended to be cheaper, quicker and less onerous than the existing pavement café licensing scheme and allows businesses to secure a licence up to 30 September 2021, when permits will expire.
“Pavement café licences that are presently granted under the Highways Act 1980, cost £30 per square meter, with a minimum charge of £230.50 per application.
“This is considerably more than the cost of a new temporary licence, and the cabinet member for highways will now charge £100 for the remainder of this financial year to bring it in line with the new regime.”
Ms Bettison added the council did not yet know how many businesses were likely to apply for the new permits.
Failure to determine the application within the 14 day period will result in the licence being deemed to have been granted for a year, she added.