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Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act (Northern Ireland) 2014


4.In December 2010, following calls from key stakeholders for the introduction of a statutory licensing scheme, a consultation was launched. The Department also met with a number of organisations to discuss the issue. The consultation paper sought views on a proposal to provide district councils with the power to licence occupiers of suitable premises to place tables and chairs on the pavement. It was envisaged that the power should be mainly enabling, allowing each council to design an appropriate licensing scheme for its district. A council would be able to grant a licence, impose reasonable conditions, vary, suspend or revoke the licence and charge a reasonable fee. There would be a general presumption that no consent would be unreasonably withheld.

5.The overall response to the consultation was very positive. However, following concerns expressed it was decided that one of the assumptions made in the consultation – that Roads Service should undertake the enforcement of the scheme – would no longer be pursued. Accordingly it was decided that district councils should be given the power to grant licences and also enforce the statutory scheme.

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