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Placing tables and chairs on the pavement or in the road

You must apply for a licence to legally place tables, chairs and other furniture on the public highway (which can include footway, footpath, carriageway and grass verge).

New and renewal applications

The licence is valid for 12 months and renewed annually.  It can be withdrawn at any time if terms and conditions are not adhered to.

Renewal requests should be made one month prior to expiry date of the licence.

As part of your application you must include:

  • Photos or brochures showing types of furniture, umbrellas or other items you wish to place on the highway
  • Specification describing details, materials and colours (these could be notes on plans)
  • Location plan (1:1250 scale) showing the outline of the premises and the proposed location of the street cafe
  • Site plan (1:100 or 1:50) showing the proposed boundary, kerb and building lines, enclosure barriers, points of access, table and seating layout, location of parasols and key dimensions
  • A copy of your insurance certificate, which indemnifies the council in the sum of at least £5 million in the respect for any one event - number of claims unlimited

We strongly advise you contact us to discuss your needs before submitting an application.

Renewal requests should be made one month prior to expiry date of the licence.

Apply for or renew a permit to place tables and chairs on the pavement or road

Report a change

Street cafe licenses issued by Sunderland City Council are personal to the licensee, not transferable and should therefore not be regarded as a transferable asset.  Any change to the person(s) names on the licence should be reported.

Report a change to an existing licence

Application fees

New license for up to 4 tables or up to 10 metres sq£303.00
New license for 5 tables or over or over 10 metres sq£701.50
Annual renewal for up to 4 tables or up to 10 metres sq£151.00
Annual renewal for 5 tables or over or over 10 metres sq£351.00
Transfer of licence£143.00


Will "tacit consent" apply?

Tacit consent does not apply to applications for a permit to place tables and chairs on the pavement or road as the council must ensure that, should they be minded to grant an application:

  • The area is safe and usable to all highway users
  • Consultations are carried out, which can take longer than any anticipated timescales

Our target completion period for applications for licenses is 40 working days from the time when all documentation and fees have been submitted.

If you have not heard from us within this period, or for any other enquiries please email us or speak to our City and neighbourhood team.

Summary and relevant legislation and trade associations information can be found in the Highways Act 1980.

This service is provided in partnership with the European EUGO network.

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