Chelmsford City Council is extending all pavement licences until September 2022 to help local businesses to recover from months of closures.

Pavement licenses are used by bars, cafes and restaurants that want to put tables and chairs on the public highway outside. They were introduced by the government as a temporary process in response to the pandemic.

Under this temporary legislation, applying for the licence normally costs the business £100. It involves a ten-day consultation during which police, the county council and other agencies are asked for their views before the licence can be granted.

Originally, all pavement licences were to expire at the end of next month, but the government has amended the legislation to allow extensions to 30 September 2022. Most businesses across the country who want to keep their al fresco dining will need to reapply soon and pay again.

However, in Chelmsford, businesses which already have a licence will see it extended free of charge until the end of September 2022. There is no need to apply again.

Cllr Mike Mackrory, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said, “The City Council recognises the hardships and difficulties faced by our local businesses during the pandemic. When you’re trying to sustain a business that you’ve put your heart and soul into through hard times, even small challenges like reapplying for licences can mount up to create great stress. This decision will hopefully alleviate part of that stress for our local hospitality trade, as well as contributing to our vision for the city centre to be more people-friendly.”

Read more about pavement licences on Chelmsford City Council’s website.

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at or on 01245 606984.

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