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Rural Needs Impact Assessment: Licensing of pavement cafés and guidance for applicants during COVID-19

PubIished in July 2020


Contents

Section 1 - Defining the activity subject to Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016
Section 2 – Understanding the impact of the policy, strategy, plan or public service
Section 3 – Identifying the social and economic needs of persons in rural areas
Section 4 – Considering the social and economic needs of persons in rural areas
Section 5 – Influencing the policy, strategy, plan or public service
Section 6 – Documenting and recording


Section 1 - Defining the activity subject to Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016

1A. Name of public authority

Belfast City Council

1B. Please provide a short title, which describes the activity being undertaken by the public authority that is subject to the Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016.

To introduce a scheme for the licensing of pavement cafés and accompanying guidance for applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 came into force on 1 October 2016, introducing a statutory licensing scheme for the regulation of pavement cafés by district councils, allowing each district council to design and enforce an appropriate licensing scheme for its district.  Each council is able to grant a licence, impose reasonable conditions, vary, suspend or revoke the licence and charge a reasonable fee. Whilst the act enables the council to set fees and may recover any costs incurred in administering and enforcing the legislation, during the Recovery Plan to the COVID-19 pandemic, the council has decided no fee will be sought. All relevant businesses will be notified when this changes and a fee will commence.

A pavement café licence authorises a person who carries out a business involving the supply of food or drink (in or from premises) to place furniture (for example tables and chairs) in a public area for use by customers. It is anticipated that there will be around 300 pavement cafés initially applying for a licence in Belfast.


1C. Please indicate which category the activity specified in Section 1B relates to.

Activity Category
Developing a Policy Strategy Plan
Adopting a Policy Strategy Plan
Implementing a Policy Strategy Plan
Revising a Policy Strategy Plan
Designing a public service
Delivering a public service

Belfast City Council's activity relates to developing a policy.


1D. Please provide the official title (if any) of the policy, strategy, plan for public service document or initiative relating to the category indicated in Section 1C.

To introduce a scheme for the licensing of pavement cafés and accompanying guidance for applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic.


1E. Please provide details of the aims or objectives of the policy, strategy, plan or public service.

A pavement café licence authorises a person who carries out a business involving the supply of food or drink (in or from premises) to place furniture (for example tables and chairs) in a public area for use by customers. It is anticipated that there will be around 300 pavement cafés initially applying for a licence in Belfast.

The objectives are:

A pavement café licence authorises a person who carries out a business involving the supply of food or drink (in or from premises) to place furniture (tables and chairs) in a public area for use by customers. It is anticipated that there will be around 300 pavement cafés initially applying for a licence in Belfast.

The objectives are:

  • To introduce a scheme for the licensing of pavement cafés within Belfast, to be consistent in approach, in the good practice guidance used and in fees charged (when appropriate), with the rest of Northern Ireland.
  • To facilitate the controlled expansion of suitable premises such as cafés, restaurants and pubs, providing small businesses with an opportunity to boost their income at a time of economic crisis, in support of a vibrant daytime and evening economy and for the general wellbeing of the community.
  • To ensure Belfast has well-regulated pavement cafés, having a positive effect on urban environments, enhancing the attractiveness of local areas and contributing to an excellent visitor experience.

While the provision of pavement cafés is encouraged, it is important that they are properly situated and managed.  There is scope to ensure they enhance the locality in which they are to be situated and not create undue noise or other nuisance to residents or neighbouring businesses.

A key consideration prior to licensing will be that the pavement café does not obstruct the footpath or footway and does not present a hazard for pedestrians, particularly for people with a physical or mobility disability, sight loss or who are blind.

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Section 2 – Understanding the impact of the policy, strategy, plan or public service

2A. Is the policy, strategy, plan or public service likely to impact on people in rural areas?

Yes
No

No. This is not likely to impact on people in rural areas.

If the response is 'No', go to Section 2E.

2B. Please explain how the policy, strategy, plan or public service is likely to impact on people in rural areas.

This is not applicable.

2C. If the policy, strategy, plan or public service is likely to impact on people in rural areas differently from people in urban areas, please explain how it is likely to impact on people in rural areas differently.

This is not applicable.

2D. Please indicate which of the following rural policy areas the policy, strategy, plan or public service is likely to primarily impact on.

Rural policy area Impact
Yes No
Rural businesses No
Rural tourism
Rural housing
Jobs or employment in rural areas
Education or training in rural areas
Broadband or mobile communications in rural areas
Transport services or infrastructure in rural areas
Poverty in rural areas
Deprivation in rural areas
Rural crime or community safety
Rural development
Agri-environment
Other (please state)

If the response to Section 2A was 'Yes', go to Section 3A.


2E. Please explain why the policy, strategy, plan or public service is not likely to impact on people in rural areas.

This policy relates to the introduction of pavement café licences in urban Belfast city streetscape.

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Section 3 – Identifying the social and economic needs of persons in rural areas

3A. Has the public authority taken steps to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas that are relevant to the policy, strategy, plan or public service?

Yes
No   

No. Belfast City Council has not taken these steps.

If the response is 'No', go to Section 3E.


3B. Please indicate which of the following methods or information sources were used by the public authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.

Indicate methods or information sources used by the public authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas
Consultation with rural stakeholders
Consultation with other organisations
Surveys or questionnaires                               
Published statistics 
Research papers
Other publications
Other methods or information sources (include details in 3C)

3C. Please provide details of the methods and information sources used to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas including relevant dates, names of organisations, titles of publications, website references, details of surveys or consultations undertaken. 

This is not applicable.


3D. Please provide details of the social and economic needs of people in rural areas which have been identified by the public authority.

This is not applicable.

If the response to Section 3A was 'Yes', go to Section 4A.


3E. Please explain why no steps were taken by the public authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.

This strategy has considered the impacts on a range of existing and potential stakeholders. We do not consider this policy to have relevance to the social and economic needs of people in the rural areas. 

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Section 4 – Considering the social and economic needs of persons in rural areas

4A. Please provide details of the issues considered in relation to the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.

This is not applicable. 

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Section 5 – Influencing the policy, strategy, plan or public service

5A. Has the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the policy, strategy or plan, or the design or delivery of the public service, been influenced by the rural needs identified?

Yes
No

No. This has not been influenced.

If the response is 'No', go to Section 5C.


5B. Please explain how the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the policy, strategy or plan, or the design or delivery of the public service, has been influenced by the rural needs identified?

This is not applicable.

If the response to Section 5A was 'Yes', go to Section 6A.

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5C. Please explain why the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the policy, strategy or plan, or the design or the delivery of the public service, has not been influenced by the rural needs identified.

This is only relevant to Belfast city urban landscape.

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Section 6 – Documenting and recording

6A. Please tick to confirm that the RNIA Template will be retained by the public authority and relevant information on Section 1 activity compiled in accordance with paragraph 6.7 of the guidance.

Confirmation statement
I confirm that the RNIA Template will be retained and relevant information compiled.
Rural Needs Impact Assessment records Details
Rural Needs Impact Assessment undertaken by Stephen Hewitt
Position or grade  
Division or branch  
Date 24 July 2020
Rural Needs Impact Assessment approved by Stephen Hewitt
Position or grade  
Division or branch  
Date  

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