Pavement Cafe Licensing

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Pavement cafes are becoming a familiar sight across the UK and Ireland.  They can help develop a local cafe culture, which in turn can have a positive effect on urban environments, promote town and city centres, contribute to the general well-being of communities and appeal to tourists.

Tourism is a key driver for economic growth in Northern Ireland offering business opportunities to create jobs and generate wealth.  Visitor attitude surveys undertaken by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board have highlighted the attractiveness of a vibrant cafe culture, especially for short breaks where shopping, good food and evening entertainment are high on the agenda.

Well-regulated pavement cafes can contribute to an excellent visitor experience, enhance the attractiveness of a local area and encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more.



Under the provisions of The Licensing of Pavement Cafes Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, District Councils may grant Pavement Cafe Licenses on such terms and conditions and subject to such restrictions as may be reasonably specified in the licence.

In specifying any terms, conditions or restrictions in a licence, District Councils shall have regard to the guidelines which have been prepared by the Department for Communities (the Department) to assist District Councils with the implementation of the statutory licensing scheme.  These guidelines highlight the key legislative responsibilities of District Councils including the conditions under the pavement cafe areas should operate.

The Department's guidance document is available here.



The Department has prepared guidelines to assist district councils with the implementation of the statutory licensing scheme contained in the Licensing of Pavement Cafes Act (NI) 2014.

The Guidelines for the licensing of pavement cafes act (Northern Ireland) 2014 highlight the key legislative responsibilities of district councils, the criteria to be met, and the procedures to be followed, when dealing with applications and the conditions under which pavement cafe areas should operate.


The council has introduced a temporary process for licence application to help business recover during Covid-19. Business operators must ensure they are familiar with government legislation and Covid-19 guidance -  This includes social distancing advice. Business operators must adhere to all requirements relevant to their workplace to protect the health & safety of customers and employees.

Due to Covid-19 the council have waived temporary pavement café licence application fees.

Before submitting an application, please read our guidance to check if your proposal will meet all the criteria. You can contact us to discuss your proposal before you apply.

Planning permission may be required for development associated with Pavement Cafes and you should contact the Planning Department by email: or by telephone: 028 7034 7100 to discuss your proposal.

You can send your completed application form with the relevant documents by email to or post to:

Licensing Section
Riada House
14 Charles Street
BT53 6DZ

Guidance for 3 year /Renewal/Variation Applicants

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has prepared a document entitled “Guidance for Applicants” to help those intending to make an application for a Pavement Cafe License and to assist with consistency of approach and administration by the Council.

A copy of the Licensing of Pavement Cafes Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 legislation is available here.  Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council application forms, 28 days public notice and guidance notes are available to download below.


Licence Fees

The cost of a Pavement Cafe licence depends on the type of licence that you need. 

Application for Grant of Pavement Cafe Licence £375.00
Application for Renewal of Pavement Cafe Licence £285.00
Application for a Variation of Pavement Cafe Licence No charge


Should you require any further information please feel free to contact the Environmental Services Department on 028 2766 0233 or