Terms and conditions for an outdoor seating licence

The following terms and conditions must be adhered to in order to have an Outdoor Seating Licence:

General conditions

  • Consent to use the highway for outdoor seating is valid for 12 months from the date of the Licence.
  • The purpose of an Outdoor Seating Licence is to allow customers/patrons to enjoy outdoor facilities (such as eating and drinking) on the public highway. As such, an outdoor area with the intention of standing space only would not be deemed an appropriate use of the highway therefore a licence would be refused on that basis.
  • The operational hours for the Outdoor Seating Licence will be time limited and may not necessarily match the opening times of the business. The council will consider each application and in doing so assess what would be appropriate for the environment and nature of the business.
  • The licensee must carry public liability insurance and indemnification for City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council which covers a minimum of £5 million. This must cover all claims against injury, accidents, damage or loss arising out of the grant of permission unless they arise due to the negligence of the Council.
  • The public liability insurance must be maintained by the licensee throughout the duration of the Outdoor Seating Licence and failure to do so would be considered a breach of the conditions.
  • The possibility of an Outdoor Seating licence should not be used as a guaranteed bargaining tool for sale/rent/lease of a business/premises – partly because it can be rescinded at any time by the Authority for operational purposes (for instance for required street works/maintenance/improvement schemes/events) or change of ownership.
  • The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council will not be liable for any loss of business or other disruption caused by third parties, including private contractors and/or works by statutory undertakers.


  • The area must normally adjoin the building line of the establishment it serves.
  • The outdoor seating area cannot take up more than one third of the footpath area.
  • The remaining two thirds of the footpath must, at all times, have a minimum clear unobstructed width of 1.8 metres between the barrier of the outdoor seating area and the kerb. In a pedestrianised area the clear width is extended to a minimum of 3.5 metres of unobstructed space in front of the area.
  • Highways street furniture, road traffic signs and associated equipment must also be considered when ensuring a clear width is kept as these should not prevent free passage.
  • There must be an unobstructed corridor to the entrance of the premises at all times which is a minimum width of 2 metres.
  • The outdoor seating area must not go beyond the length of the frontage of the business/premises and must not infringe or impede on neighbouring businesses.
  • Outdoor furniture must not be placed beyond the agreed outdoor seating area at any time without the prior written consent of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
  • Under no circumstances should the surface of the public highway be changed, damaged or altered in any way as you will be liable for the cost of repair. As such; the use of decking, tiles, astro-turf, decals, marked/painted areas etc. is not permitted, neither is drilling into the highway to secure any structures (barriers, planters, benches and tables etc).

Demarcation of the outdoor seating area

  • A physical barrier as a means of enclosure must be used in order to guide persons with disabilities safely around the outdoor seating area.
  • The barrier should have minimal impact on the street, both physically and visually and must not be a permanent structure.
  • The barrier should be no more than 1000mm in height and should be constructed from stainless steel/chrome/black steel or solid wood uprights.
  • The barrier should have horizontal stiffening rails to link the uprights at both the top and bottom and have a base heavy enough to withstand high winds.
  • The upper rail should be set between 800mm to 1000mm, with a lower tapping rail 150mm above the street surface. Rope barriers are considered inappropriate.
  • If materials are used between the vertical posts (for example fabric sheets) they should be firmly secured at the top and at the bottom to give extra stability and prevent billowing.
  • The barrier can be used as a fantastic tool in which to advertise your business; especially in light of the Council wide A Board ban however; the advertising of other businesses and products is not permitted.
  • You may use the barrier to advertise your business's offers and promotions however the wording or messages must not cause offence or upset others, nor should there be any political messages.
  • The colour and design is also an important consideration and should be sympathetic to the area in which it is being placed with any lettering or logos placed against a single block background.
  • Planters are permitted as a means of demarcation however; they should be on lockable castor wheels with the base of the planter being around 150mm from the street surface and at least 800 - 1000 mm in height.
  • All means of demarcation must be kept within the agreed licensed area.
  • All means of demarcation should be of a type that can be readily removed from the highway at short notice if instructed to do so by the Council or the Police.

Furniture and equipment

  • Tables and chairs should match and be either made of metal or timber in order to ensure appropriate quality and appearance. They should be of sufficient weight to withstand windy conditions. Plastic garden-type furniture is not acceptable.
  • Parasols are permitted however; these should be made of a non-reflective fabric and, should not form a continuous or uninterrupted canopy. Colours should not be considered to be visually obtrusive. Limited advertising of the business is allowed on parasols but this should not be too dominant and generally not exceeding 450x150mm in size. Parasols should be wholly contained within the enclosure and not extend beyond it.
  • We do not allow canopies/awnings to project from buildings unless the premises has a valid 'oversail licence'.
  • To help ensure a high quality character and image for the district, cutlery and crockery should not be plastic.
  • Glassware (such as pint glasses, tumblers, wine glasses, flutes etc.) will be permitted in the outdoor seating area however; there may be a requirement to change this to plastic alternatives if there are instances of anti-social behaviour (such as, but not exhaustive broken glass left on the highway) or upon police request.
  • Glass bottles should be limited and where possible the contents should be emptied into a glass from the point of purchase.
  • The use of glassware may be temporally suspended during certain public events and/or sporting events and/or demonstrations. You will be given notice of any such events and the use of plastic alternatives will be mandatory.
  • All outdoor seating furniture and equipment must be removed from the public highway by the Licensee when outside the permitted hours of operation with the highway being left in an unobstructed state. In pedestrianised areas special dispensation to leave outdoor seating facilities on the highway overnight may be given but that would be agreed on a case by case basis.
  • The licensee will be required to demonstrate that there is a sufficient storage facility at the premises for outdoor seating furniture when outside the permitted hours of operation; especially if the primary business continues to operate outside of the outdoor seating licensed hours.
  • Furniture and equipment should be of a type that can be readily removed from the highway at short notice if instructed to do so by the Council or the Police.
  • A-boards are permitted within the licensed outdoor seating area.
  • Flyposting on the public highway is illegal and as such any business with an Outdoor Seating Licence found to be flyposting will be deemed to be in breach of the conditions and subject to enforcement action.
  • Any outdoor furniture must not infringe or impede any highways street furniture, road traffic signs and associated equipment.


  • Businesses who serve food must have (and maintain) a Food Hygiene rating of 3 or more in order to be granted an Outdoor Seating Licence. New businesses who have not yet been inspected will be allowed an exemption until the date of their first inspection however; upon inspection, if they fail to achieve a rating of 3 or more the Outdoor Seating Licence may be revoked.
  • The licensee is responsible for keeping the outdoor seating area (including the surrounding highway) maintained, cleansed regularly and free from litter with all food debris and other waste removed immediately.
  • When outside the permitted hours of operation the highway should be cleansed thoroughly after all furniture and equipment has been stored.
  • Toilet and hand washing facilities must be provided within the premises.


  • Alcohol is permitted to be served and consumed in the outdoor seating area until 11pm providing it is within the operational hours of the outdoor seating area and/or premises licence (whichever is sooner) however; in order to do this the licensee MUST ensure their premises licence includes off sales. For information in regards to off sales (including the procedure to amend the premises licence) please contact the Council's Licensing Team.
  • The Council has the right to adjust the hours in which alcohol is consumed within the outdoor seating area if it is in the best interests of public safety or as a result on environmental enforcement procedures.
  • At certain times and/or events the selling, serving and consuming of alcohol in an outdoor seating area may be limited (or in certain circumstances not permitted) if deemed appropriate by the Council (for example, during large sporting/social events when the consumption of alcohol is the primary focus of the business such as a bar or public house).
  • If there is a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in place which restricts the consumption of alcohol in a public space; alcohol will be permitted within an outdoor seating area providing a valid Outdoor Seating Licence is obtained.
  • If alcohol is consumed in an outdoor seating area covered by a PSPO without an appropriate Outdoor Seating Licence; the licensee will be subject to PSPO enforcement procedures by the relevant Council team – this is in addition to Highways Enforcement procedures.
  • On occasion, a special dispensation to temporary suspend a PSPO may be granted for one off events however; this is at the discretion of the relevant Council Officer.

Health and Safety

  • Where reasonably possible food and drink must be transferred from inside the premises to the outdoor seating area via a waiter service however, in the event that customers/patrons transfer the food and drink themselves the Council will not be held liable for any accident or injury caused as a result.
  • In order to improve the customer experience for all, the Council recommends that businesses do not encourage smoking in the outdoor seating area however; if you do wish to allow smoking there must be a designated ‘smoking’ and ‘smoke-free’ area (this should be a minimum of 2m apart wherever possible). The designated smoke-free area should have ‘no smoking’ signage displayed (in accordance with Smoke-free (signs) regulations 2012) and there should be no ash trays or similar receptacles provided and/or left on furniture where smoke-free seating is identified.
  • In line with the Health Act 2006, where smoking is permitted, the smoking area must not be substantially enclosed (i.e. the open space should be at least 50%) and all smoking should be kept clear from entrances and/or doorways (this includes entrances and/or doorways belonging to other businesses/properties as well as your own).
  • Congregations beyond the demarcation barriers are not permitted. The licensee is responsible for the management of its customers and therefore would have to guarantee that any such congregations do not occur, ensuring any disturbances are dealt with quickly and effectively so as not to prevent others from free passage.
  • The outdoor seating area must not obstruct any fire doors/emergency exits etc.
  • Anything which may cause a nuisance to other premises (e.g. noise, disturbance, smells or litter etc.) is not acceptable and will not be permitted.
  • The Council will collaborate closely with partner organisations and where reports of regular/continued anti-social behaviour (which includes crowd congregations) are received within or close to an outdoor seating area; the Council, in the interest of public safety, have the right to refuse or revoke an Outdoor Seating Licence.

Display and use of licence

  • Licensees must clearly display their Outdoor Seating Licence within a window/door abutting the outdoor seating area and must comply with the conditions at all times.
  • Officers (which may include those from partner organisations) will regularly inspect the outdoor seating area to ensure the terms and conditions are upheld.
  • The licensee must inform the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council of a change in circumstances such as if the outdoor seating area is no longer to be used and/or if the business has been sold.
  • The Outdoor Seating Licence is non-transferable in the event of the business being sold. If the new owners would like to continue to use outdoor seating facilities on the highway they must apply for a new licence within 1 month of ownership/the business re-opening.
  • If, at any point, the use of outdoor seating facilities on the highway are no longer required (either through surrendering the licence or selling of the business) the licence should be removed from display and the outdoor seating area should be cleared/returned to normal highway usage.
  • It is the responsibility of the business/premises to apply for the licence to be renewed at least 4 weeks prior to the existing one expiring – the Council will not be sending reminders.
  • Any previous permissions granted under planning or as part of a previously issued licence will not apply once the life of the licence has expired.


  • Enforcement action will be taken if the terms and conditions of the Outdoor Seating Licence are not being upheld and/or the outdoor facilities have been placed on the highway without obtaining a licence.
  • Operating without an Outdoor Seating Licence is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 and the business owner can be liable to a fine of up to £2,500.
  • The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (in conjunction with partner organisations where deemed necessary) reserves the right to refuse, revoke, temporary suspend/adjust the Outdoor Seating Licence (or part of) if:
    • the terms and conditions cannot be satisfactorily complied with
    • there is a breach to the terms and conditions
    • it is in the best interests of public safety (e.g. during certain public events and/or demonstrations and/or regular instances of anti-social behaviour)
  • The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council (in conjunction with partner organisations where deemed necessary) reserves the right to change and amend the terms and conditions of the licence. If this occurs the Licensee will be notified in writing and, if applicable, will be given a reasonable timeframe in which to make adjustments.