We're working with the district councils to make it easier for Lincolnshire businesses to use areas of the highway for seating to allow their customers to social distance.
Businesses will be able to apply online for a free pavement licence and it will be determined in just ten working days or less, following consultation with local agencies and the public.
We are also extending this policy to shop owners who may wish to place a stall on the street outside their premises.
The new licencing process is temporary to support businesses while social distancing measures may still be in place. Once approved, the licence will be valid until the end of September 2021.
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "This is an overhaul of the previous street café licensing, to streamline the process and help kick start the local economy safely.
"The temporary licences are free – so that's one less bill for local businesses to worry about – and will last until next September.
"Social distancing measures have unfortunately cut the capacity in bars, restaurants and cafes considerably. Being able to use the street outside their premises will help businesses bounce back after three months with their doors closed, and bring life back into our town centres.
"In some areas, this could drastically change the street scene, and we're confident that Lincolnshire's business-owners will be able to make this a success."
For a pavement licence, businesses will need to:
- Outline how many tables and chairs they want to put on the highway, and where.
- Specify the days of the week and times that the furniture will be on the highway.
- Show they have public liability insurance for at least £5m.
- Demonstrate that they have consulted neighbouring properties if they plan to extend beyond their frontage.
- Obtain a licence from their district council if they wish to serve alcohol.
- Not obstruct pedestrians or traffic, including parking and deliveries.
New legislation is being considered by the Government which moves the responsibility for pavement licences from the county council to district councils.
We will continue to work with our district council colleagues but the pavement licence scheme may be subject to slight changes in some areas when the new legislation takes effect – this includes Lincoln, where the city council has confirmed it will run its own separate scheme.