Westminster City Council has published an updated guide that sets out the details of the wide range of support available to the hospitality sector over the winter months. This includes information on the Council’s support for heaters and umbrellas over the winter and the process for permitting outside tables and chairs.
What’s new in October 2020
- All temporary al fresco dining schemes involving road closures will end on 31 October 2020.
- Umbrellas and heaters will be allowed more widely, subject to appropriate permissions, via the proper application process.
- Westminster wants to hear ideas from businesses working with residents for new ‘winter appropriate’ schemes. Email your ideas to Westminster Council.
- Fast track licences for outside tables and chairs will run out on 31 October 2020. Apply now for a new one.
- London moved to Tier 2 on Saturday 17 October 2020. Under this high alert level, there is a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants, but people can still meet outdoors, subject to the rule of six.
What you need to know and do if you are a food or drink led business
- If you have a ‘fast track’ licence granted in the summer, it will expire on on 31 October 2020.
- If you want to put furniture (including heaters and umbrellas) on the highway, you should apply for a Pavement Licence. You can apply here.
- If you intend to use an electric space heater you must include your completed risk assessment with your application.
- A public notice must be displayed on the premises the day that the application is made, with the consultation period running for 5 working days starting from the next working day after the application is made. You can download a Public Notice Template here.
- There is a statutory consultation period during which residents or council departments can submit comments on your application.
- You will find out if your licence has been granted within 14 days.
- A new pavement licence will run to April 2021.
November 2020 update
As part of their ongoing commitment to support the city’s world-famous hospitality sector during the pandemic, the Council has approved, in principle, more than 40 winter al fresco hospitality schemes that can begin operating safely as soon as national and local guidelines allow from Thursday 3 December.
Read more about the schemes and the permissions businesses must have and download the updated winter hospitality guidance here.
We want to help our wonderful restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés to provide a safe and enjoyable service over the winter months. Our extensive package of support will help to safeguard jobs and livelihoods within this vital sector of central London’s economy. We’d urge hospitality business owners to see what help’s available and to get in touch so we can get the support to them they need.
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council