Licensing of “Pavement Cafés” set to change from October

14 October 2016

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The Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act (NI) 2014 will come into operation on 1st October 2016, after which time “pavement cafés” across Northern Ireland as defined by the legislation will need to have a Pavement Café licence. A Pavement Café licence authorises a person running a business involving the supply of food and drink to place furniture on public areas for use by their customers and therefore it may be of interest to you in the course of your business. In line with the rest of the UK, business owners in Northern Ireland will now need to apply to their local council for a Pavement Café licence and should also be aware that it will be a criminal offence to operate pavement cafés without a Pavement Café licence, with Traders potentially facing fines of up to £1000 for non-compliance.

In Belfast, where it is estimated that there are more than 300 pavement cafés currently in operation, Belfast City Council has proposed an initial fee of £660 as the Grant Application fee plus a Licence fee of £110, although at this stage this is an estimate only and undoubtedly the procedural requirements will become clearer in the course of October.

For those who currently hold a Liquor licence for the sale of alcohol either on or off their premises, there are a number of additional complex issues to be considered in the context of this new legislation and we advise that specialist advice be taken.

This article has been produced for information purposes and if you require further advice in respect of Liquor licensing, please contact Cathy Colton, Licensing Partner, Carson McDowell on 028 9034 8867 - cathy.colton@carson-mcdowell.com.

If you require further advice or information about the new legislation, please contact Lyndsay Scott, Assistant Solicitor, Carson McDowell on 028 9034 8837 - lyndsay.scott@carson-mcdowell.com.

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