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Changes to licensing of tables and chairs outside cafes and restaurants

Government legislation has switched responsibility for the licensing of tables and chairs on pavements outside West Sussex eateries to district and borough councils.


The changes are aimed at supporting bars and restaurants to get back up and running during the current Covid-19 restrictions.  Businesses will be able to apply for a temporary licence until September 30, 2021.


The county council will remain a consultee in the licensing application process and West Sussex Highways staff are helping with the transfer of responsibilities.


Current licences remain valid but renewal applications will need to be directed to the district and borough councils.


A business will require a licence from their local district and/or borough council for a number of reasons, such as:


  • A business has no current licence to place tables and chairs on the pavement/public highway.
  • A business has a valid licence covering how tables and chairs are set up outside but wants to temporarily change those furniture arrangements to adhere to current COVID-19 guidance
  • A business has a valid licence that is due to expire before the 30th September 2021, which is when the licensing function managed by district and boroughs will end.


Any business owner in the Post area who meets above criteria can find out how to apply via the following website pages:


Arun District Council:


Chichester District Council:

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