Licence you will need if you plan to use tables and chairs outside your business

If you are a business such as a restaurant, bar or café, under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 you need permission to place tables and chairs on the public highway.

Do it online

Costs for this service

Online applications

You will need to pay an application fee of £111. Up to and including 14 July 2018 there will be a reduced online rate of £99.

The discounted online application fee recognises the lower administration costs associated with processing the electronic online application rather than a face to face meeting or postal application

Postal / hard copy applications

You should complete the paper form

The total cost of a table and chairs licence is based on the number of hours you open each day, the number of chairs you would like to put out and the band your business is in plus the application fee.

The application fee is £135.

The first two chairs for all premises are given free and only subject to the application fee.

Please use the table below to work out the total fee you will need to pay.

No of Chairs Business hours Band A Band B Band C
3 and over Before 7pm (flat rate ) £51 per chair £35 per chair £24.50 per chair
3 and over After 7pm (hourly rate) £16.50 per hour £9.75 per hour £5.75 per hour

Find out which band your business is in using our road list.

Example of how to calculate the total licence fee

If you have 12 chairs to place on the public highway (remember the first two chairs are free) on a road classified under band A from 7pm to 11pm Monday to Sunday, you will need to pay an additional charge of £16.50 per hour for the five additional hours after 7pm for seven days. You would need to add this charge to the licence fee. The breakdown of the total fee you would need to pay is outlined below:

Breakdown of fee Working out of fee Total
Licence fee: (band A) 10 chairs @ £51 per chair = £510 £510.00
Charge for (3 + chairs) each hour after 7pm: 4 extra hours after 7pm (7pm – 11pm) 4 x £16.50 = £66.00 (per day) Full charge calculated below
Days of operation (Monday – Sunday) As above - £66.00 (hours after 7pm per day) x 7 (days of operation) = £462.00 £462.00
Application Fee N/A £111.00
Total N/A £1,083.00
If applying by 14 July 2018 Discounted online application fee N/A £99.00
Total N/A £1071.00

What you need to know...

What do we take into account before issuing a licence?
Following a licence application we will carry out a site visit. When inspecting a site we will take into account:

  • street furniture or anything that may cause an obstruction if the licence is granted
  • how busy the street is
  • historical existence of trading.

We will consult with:

  • our Transport and Highways department
  • Transport for London, if the premises are on a red route and
  • neighbours who live immediately above or beside the premises

How long does the licence last?
A licence is temporary lasting a maximum of one year. The year starts on 1 April and finishes on 31 March regardless of when the licence was issued.

The licence fee is fixed regardless of the amount of time between when you applied for the licence and its expiry date on 31 March.

A licence can be withdrawn if valid complaints are received after the licence has been granted, or if you breach the terms and conditions of the licence.

If you are using private land
Section 21 of the London Local Authorities Act 1990 defines a "street" for the purposes of licensing amenities on the public highway. For further information please contact us on 020 7926 9000

If you feel that your tables and chairs or goods are located on land which you consider to be private property, legal documentation supporting this must be submitted.

The placing of tables and chairs, or the sale or display of goods/receptacles without the required licence is an offence under section 137 and 149 of the Highways Act 1980 and section 38 of the London Local Authorities Act 1990. It carries a maximum fine of £1,000 upon conviction.

Next Steps

Please return your completed application form, together with the fee to:

Community Safety Service
London Borough of Lambeth
PO Box 734
Winchester SO23 5DG

If you are posting your application please include a cheque for the correct amount made payable to London Borough of Lambeth.

Terms and Conditions
You should read and sign the terms and conditions and return the signed copy with your application form.
Tables and chairs licences terms and conditions