Torbay hospitality businesses are being offered free, short-term pavement cafe licences to allow them to provide outdoor seating for customers.

Free, short-term pavement cafe licences will allow businesses to provide outdoor seating for customersFree, short-term pavement cafe licences will allow businesses to provide outdoor seating for customers

Many hospitality businesses have been closed for months but are busy preparing to safely open from the anticipated date of the July 4, including outside areas.

To support them with their recovery plans, Torbay Council is offering free, short-term consents / temporary licensed lease agreements to allow them to provide outdoor seating for customers in line with the latest Government social distancing guidelines.

The agreements will cover any council or harbour land and will be valid until October 31, to allow businesses to capitalise on the shoulder season that may be experienced by the tourism sector.

Each application will be treated on its merits, and in most cases consents/licences will be issued within 14 days.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet member for infrastructure, environment and culture on Torbay Council, said: “We recognise that the next few months are going to be crucial for the hospitality industry, that is why we are committed to doing all we can to help businesses with their recovery plans.

“All efforts will be made to make decisions on applications as quickly as possible, some of the more complex locations may require additional consideration and in such cases, we will aim to complete these applications with 28 days.

“Businesses that are already in receipt of an existing licence and have already paid, a pro-rata credit will be applied to their next bill. Those that have not yet paid, will have their bills adjusted accordingly.”

To apply, business owners need to complete an online application form.

Businesses who have existing pavement café licences that wish to consider expanding their area to accommodate customers, while following social distancing guidelines will be able to follow the same process.

No business can operate any trading or provide table or chairs on council land without a consent or lease agreement/licence in place, so an application must be made.