Tables and chairs licence

Guidance about what to do if you want to place tables and chairs outside your restaurant, cafe or pub.

If you wish to place tables and chairs on the highway (public road) in Hammersmith and Fulham outside your restaurant, cafe or pub you must apply to us for a tables and chairs licence. You may also require planning permission.

This licence is valid for 12 months, but it can't be varied or suspended during this period.

If your tables and chairs licence is about to expire or has expired, it is your responsibility to apply to renew it as the renewal of a licence is not automatic.

Tables and chairs licences must be renewed from the expiry date of any previous licence for the same location.

Any renewal period will be back-dated to start from the expiry date of the previous licence, to ensure that your tables and chairs continue to be authorised to your permitted area of the public highway.

If you need any advice please email the licensing and enforcement officer at or call us on 020 8753 4807 or 020 8753 3447.

Do I need planning permission?

You may need planning permission to place tables and chairs on the public highway. Please contact the planning team to find out if planning permission is required for your application before you apply for the tables and chairs licence. See duty planner advice service for contact details. See also making a planning application.

If planning permission is required, please allow approximately eight weeks for the planning permission application process which will include a one-month consultation period.

Your planning application will not be processed until you have submitted all the required documentation and correct fee, so please check your application thoroughly before submitting it. You will be given a planning reference number which is required with your highways tables and chairs licence application.

If the planning team confirms you do not need planning permission, you will need to obtain written confirmation of this and enclose it with your highways tables and chairs licence application.

Once you have received planning permission or had confirmation it is not required please apply for the table and chairs licence. Please allow five working days for us to process your application.

How much does it cost?

The annual fees for placing tables and chairs on a public pavement or pedestrian area are:

  • Pedestrian squares: £660 per year, per table
  • Town centres: £990 per year
  • Other streets: £660 per year

Licence fees are paid for at the time of application by debit or credit card.

Apply online via My Account

Apply online via My Account

Please go to My Account where you need to sign in (or create an account if you do not already have one) to then proceed to apply for a highways licence.

As part of the application the applicant for a licence must complete the declaration confirming that public liability insurance is in place at the time of the application, that public liability insurance will be in place for the duration of the highway licence period and provide evidence of their public liability insurance to a minimum value of £5 million as part of the application process.

Display your tables and chairs licence

You must display a laminated or framed copy of any current tables and chairs licence in the restaurant or cafe premises. If you don’t, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice (fine).

Your licence will be issued as an email with your business name, the details of where the table and chairs should be located, licence number and validity dates. If you have not received this before you want to place your tables and chairs on the highway, contact a member of the licence team on the numbers provided above.

You must not place anything on our highway until you have received your licence.

Conditions of use

The licensee is entirely responsible for the table and chairs for the duration of the time they are on the highway, including delivery and collection. The licensee must adhere to the terms and conditions set out below.

Failure to follow these terms and conditions may lead to enforcement action including fixed penalty notices (fines) or prosecution. If any of the requirements of this licence are not complied with, measures may be taken to mark, guard, light or remove the items and to clean or repair the highway. The licensee will be liable for all the costs incurred. The council operates a zero-tolerance policy for all safety issues.

Inspectors regularly check the highway to ensure all activities taking place are legitimately licensed, meet all the terms and conditions licence and are promptly removed after their expiry date. 

When your tables and chairs licence expires, you are required to remove your licensed highway item. A reminder email is sent to all licence holders advising that a licence is about to expire. Where a licence is required to continue, it is the licensee’s responsibility to renew it before its expiry date. If a licensee fails to do this, then an application must be made for a new licence with a charge of the initial application fee for the first month, to reflect that this is a new licence.

When you apply for your highway licence, you must ensure that you provide your trading address or project office address where official correspondence can be sent and read by the licence holder. Your trading address or project office address may be different from your work site address, so please ensure that you provide the correct address for us to contact you. Failure to provide the correct contact address may cause your licence application to be refused or an existing licence revoked.

Any tables, chairs or demarcation barriers, walls or screens which exceed or overlap a specific area of the public highway, authorised by a planning permission, may attract a fixed penalty notice and may also lead to your licence being revoked.

You must include a responsible manager’s contact phone number for both landline and mobile numbers, plus an email address.

If there is a change in the person responsible as named licence holder, then the council’s highway licence team must be advised of the replacement person’s name, contact phone numbers and email address.

Expired highway licences must be removed from site and replaced with a current licence as appropriate. It is confusing for the public and council inspectors if several licences, current and expired, are all displayed at the same time at the same location. Parking suspensions must be renewed where applicable.

Highway licences are not transferable between existing and replacement contractors.  If a new contractor takes over responsibility for items on the public highway, the replacement contractor must apply for a new licence.

If the public highway is damaged either by any licensed items placed upon it or the actions of any contractors working for the licensee, the costs incurred by the council to carry out repairs are to be paid by the licensee. 

This would include any repair costs or officer time fees in excess of any damage deposit required as part of a licence application. 

Further to any planning consultation agreement, it is the licensee’s responsibility to consult local residents, businesses and other stakeholders where highway licensed items may affect them. The licence team may advise on the specific local area to be consulted.

All relevant planning consents must be agreed with the appropriate council departments before an application for a highway licence is made.

Terms and conditions

1. The tables and chairs shall not be left on the public highway unlicensed.

2. Any activity associated with the licence must not violate the terms of the agreed planning consent. Any violation may lead to the revocation of the licence.

3. All traffic and pedestrian management is to be set up in accordance with the Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice unless otherwise directed by a condition of the licence.

4. The licensed items must be situated outside the agreed address and in the location specified on the licence.

5. A laminated or framed copy of any current tables and chairs licence must be displayed on the business premises.

6. You must remove the licensed items from the highway or reposition them if required by the police or council representative, especially on event days for example football matches.

7. Table and chairs must only be in situ on the public highway during the hours specified on the licence.

8. When the licence expires, you must remove the previously licensed items from the highway and leave the site in a clean and tidy condition.

9. The cost of repairing any damage including cleaning or removing any stains on the highway caused by the licence activities will be recovered from the licensee. 

10. The licence granted will be exercised in such a manner as not to cause a nuisance, disturbance or danger to the occupiers of adjoining properties or the users of the highway.

11. The licensee must comply with any reasonable direction or instruction given by the council.

12. The signatory of the application is the person accepting responsibility for the compliance of all conditions and regulations associated with placing building materials on the highway.

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