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Continental-style Al Fresco Culture Coming To Our Towns this Summer

7 April 2021

A public open air cafe at Whitestrand in Salcombe on a sunny day

South Hams District Council invites local hospitality businesses to apply for outdoor seating licences so they can start trading as quickly as possible. 

The current Government guidance states that hospitality businesses can use outdoor seating areas to re-open no earlier than 12 April 2021.

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council know that many local businesses do not have their own space to be able to re-open under these social distancing guidelines.

To help get our hospitality businesses back up and running as quickly as possible and to give them a boost this summer, they can now apply for a temporary licence to use nearby Council-owned land or the pavement.

Businesses have two different routes to apply.

  • To find out more about using land that is considered the adopted highway, (such as the pavement, an adopted road or footpath), follow this link:
  • To find out about using Council-owned land, (such as market places etc.), that is not considered the adopted highway, please go to this page.

Last year, many businesses took the opportunity to set up tables and chairs on council-owned land or pavements so they could safely serve customers. This included The Kings Arms, using Whitestrand in Salcombe, The Bull Inn, using The Rotherfold in Totnes, and Taylors Restaurant, using Bank Square in Tavistock.  

The application process is straightforward and the Councils aim to determine them within 10 working days for pavement licences or five working days for applications to use Council-owned land. The licences for using Council-owned land will run until 31 October 2021 inclusive. Pavement licences will run until 30 September 2021. Both will be offered for one season only as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the responsibility of the business to comply with the requirements of the licences, which includes time limits and disposing of litter correctly.

The scheme is intended to help local hospitality businesses with existing business premises. It is not intended for new or mobile businesses. Where there is more demand for outside seating than space available, adjacent businesses will be given priority. 

To find potential locations for outdoor seating in towns across the South Hams, and to apply please go to South Hams Available Land.


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