Putting Tables & Chairs Outside Your Pub or Restaurant

Many people sitting in their gardens at home might think, “I know, let’s pop down the pub and have a pint sitting outside in the sunshine”. Well, they can only do that if there are chairs and tables to sit on!

So, what’s stopping you taking advantage of those wonderful warm summer lunchtimes and nights?

The problem is that the “authorities” have a view on such a facility! So here’s what you need to consider:

If your pub is on a public highway, you will need permission to put tables and chairs outside on the pavement by the Highways Agency. They will grant permission (or not) usually on a 12-month basis. In addition, you will need planning permission and maybe a variation to your licence. Best advice; contact your local authority and ask for their guidance.

If you have a pub garden, check that the garden area is covered by your premises licence to sell or consume alcohol. If not, you will have to apply for a variation to your licence.

There are two types of variation:

  1. A minor variation
  2. A full variation

Here’s the difference

You will not need to advertise a minor variation in the local newspaper – and it costs much less than a full variation. A minor variation will only be granted if it does not impact on the licensing objectives. If, for example, you want to actually build a bar in the garden, then the authorities would most likely seek a full variation.

Best advice; speak to your local authority and local police licensing officer – get their views before you incur costs.

P.S. Let’s hope the sun shines!