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Pavement Cafe Licensing

The Council is committed to supporting the hospitality sector as cafés, restaurants, bars and hotels move towards recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

We recognise the challenges that re-opening your premises may present in terms of social distancing, as well as the opportunities which on-street seating areas offer to help meet these requirements - and to help create a café culture that the community can enjoy.

We have now opened the application process for obtaining a pavement café licence.

Who can apply?
Any person who operates a business supplying food or drink (in or from premises) may apply to place furniture on a public area for use by customers. This includes cafés, restaurants, pubs, retail outlets providing refreshments, takeaways and supermarkets with a deli counter.

Is the area you want to use suitable?
The guidance document for applicants offers advice on what Council will consider appropriate for a Pavement Café Licence. The suitability criteria required is outlined in Appendix 1 and includes consideration of the following:

  • Pedestrian and vehicular access

  • Size, layout and furniture design

  • Likely disturbance to other businesses or residents

  • Safety issues

In general, the pavement café area will need to be set-up immediately adjacent to the premises.  However, a licence for a remote café may be granted if certain conditions are met.

How do I apply for a pavement café licence?
If you wish to apply for a pavement café licence you must:

  • Submit a completed application form

  • Submit a range of documentation to support the application (including location plan, proposed café plan, details of furniture, a copy of your alcohol licence if appropriate, management control plan for remote cafés)

  • Affix a public notice to the premises on the day application is made to the Council. This must be left visible to the public for 28 days

  • After 28 days of displaying the public notice, you must return the public notice together with the signed declaration form

When your application and supporting information has been submitted, the Council will consult with the relevant statutory bodies (including Department for Infrastructure – Roads and PSNI). After the public consultation period is over, the Council will then make a determination on your application and either grant or refuse to issue your pavement café licence.

How much does it cost?
There is no fee to apply for a pavement café licence.

How long will it take to process my application?
The Council will aim to provide you with a determination within 4 to 6 weeks from the date of a completed application, which includes all the required plans and associated documentation.

This is to allow full and proper consultation in line with Department for Communities Guidance on Licensing Pavement Cafes, site visits and input from consultees.

In the event of written representations and objections being received in relation to your proposal, it may take up to 12 weeks for a final determination and ratification to be made by Committee and Council.

Application Form and Guidance Documents
> Application Form
> Public Notice Template
> Guidance Notes
> Department for Communities (DfC) Guidance
Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act (Northern Ireland) 2014

You can return your completed application, together with supporting information to or in hard copy to any one of our main council offices in Cookstown, Dungannon or Magherafelt.

For more information or to discuss the application process in more detail, please contact the Environmental Health Service's licensing team on 03000 132 132 or email

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