Pub punters could be allowed to eat and drink on the city pavements – as Wiltshire Council opens applications for temporary pavement licences.
Once approved, these licences will allow eligible businesses – which includes cafes, restaurants and pubs – to put tables and chairs on the public highway outside their premises to attract more customers and increase trade.
This will also promote social distancing, and will be “subject to normal highway safe passage requirements”.
Temporary pavement licences, which are available free of charge, will, in most cases, last for 12 months from date of issue.
However, they are subject to a statutory notice period of ten working days, during which time people will have an opportunity to comment on the application.
Councillor Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We know there is a great deal of interest among the business community to grant these licences to use tables and chairs on the public highway, and we’re keen to get these processed as quickly as possible, subject to the statutory notice period of ten working days per licence.
“We know how important it is to give businesses every opportunity to succeed during this difficult time, and we hope that these licences will enable traders to accommodate more customers while also following social distancing guidelines.
“We do have the option to charge for this service, but we have chosen not to, as we want to do all we can to support businesses during this time.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to our officers, who will be working around the clock to process large numbers of applications in quick time to help give Wiltshire businesses the boost they need this summer and during the next 12 months.”
Businesses can read detailed FAQs and download the application form at wiltshire.gov.uk/licences-permits-temporary-pavement-licences.
Completed application forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As applications come through, people will also be able to view applications for consultation on the same page.