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Business & Planning Act 2020 Published Date: 22/07/2020

The House of Lords put forward a number of amendments to the Act. An overview of the amendments are listed below along with Government advice:
  • Authorities must have regard to the needs of disabled people when considering whether to grant a pavement licence.
  • Licence holders must make reasonable provision for outside seating where smoking is not permitted.
  • Local authorities can delegate decisions about pavement licences to sub-committees or to officials (it is not responsibility of authority’s executive).
  • Secretary of State may specify conditions but they now have to be by Regulations laid before Parliament which can reject them by resolution (and not simply published by SoS as before).
  • Limits off-sales extensions to 11pm at the latest
  • Any new permissions for off-sales do not apply to times when the premises licence does not allow sales of alcohol for consumption in outdoor areas of the premises.
  • The pavement licence and off-sales extension provisions come into force on Royal Assent.
  • Any extension to the provisions by Secretary of State can be made only when it is reasonable, necessary or appropriate for a purpose linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gary Grant, vice-chair of the Institute of Licensing, said:

“The new Act will be welcomed by the leisure and hospitality industry - who need all the help they can get in the present period. Its provisions will give rise to considerable additional work for hard-pressed local authority officers who will have to administer, monitor, and then enforce the new pavement licence regime and the automatic extension of off-sales.

"The steer towards outdoor eating and drinking in the warm Summer months ahead will delight many customers, yet cause real concern to some residents who may well find their pavements and outdoor areas busier, and louder, than ever before. However, what is given with one hand may be taken away by the other. The relaxation provisions are subject to strict regulatory checks and balances that should adequately deal with any issues that arise. The Institute will continue to support all its members, both operators and regulators, in making this new regime work as efficiently as possible.”


Guidance to accompany pavement licensing introduced in the Business and Planning Act 2020 has been issued.