Brent Council is to introduce a £100 licence fee for businesses to place chairs and tables for customers outside their premises. This is a cheaper option that the current £81 fee and monthly payment of £91.
The change follows government legislation aimed at supporting the hospitality industry during the Covid crisis while they recover from lockdown and to enable them to trade safely while social distancing measures remain in place.
The licensing conditions will aim to keep free pavement acess for pedestrians and particularly for people with a disability. There will be an application process and a consultation period of one week.
There are likely to be a considerable number of new applications and the council has set the fee at the highest possible under the new legislation:
There is a risk that if no fee or a lesser fee was charged, the council would receive a higher number of applications for pavement licences. Not only would this generate a significantly increased volume of work for the Licencing Team, it may also lead to an over population of businesses offering outside table and chairs having a detrimental effect on the character and space available on our high streets and a rise in anti-social behaviour or other complaints.The licences will not apply beyond September 2021.
The scheme will impose costs on the council:
It is proposed that additional members of staff will be required to assist with the extra work generated from the processing of these applications and it is intended to appointment two posts which would cost in the region of £60k for a six month period to assist with administering the new duties arising from this Act.
Detailed Guidance on applications and consultation process can be found HERE