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Consultation on pavement café licensing scheme closes soon - still time to share views

Date: 23 Nov 2023

Councillor Gary McKeown holds a poster promoting the  pavement café licensing scheme consultation - on a pavement in the city centre.

There’s still time to share views on the council’s pavement café licensing scheme with consultation closing on Thursday 30 November.

The temporary scheme has been extended until 31 December with consultation now taking place on moving to a proposed permanent pavement café licensing scheme from January 2024.

Council had introduced the temporary scheme in June 2020 to assist the city’s hospitality sector during the recovery period following the Covid-19 lockdown.

A pavement café licence authorises businesses supplying food or drink (in or from premises) to place furniture on a public area for use by customers. This includes cafés, restaurants, pubs, and retail outlets providing refreshments.

Councillor Gary McKeown, Chair of the council’s Licensing Committee, said: “Pavement cafés have played an increasingly important role in our city and brought a real buzz to our streets, so we want to ensure that this can continue in a permanent and sustainable way that can deliver for residents and visitors, as well as hospitality businesses.

“We opened our public consultation and online survey in early October and have already received useful feedback from the general public, existing licensees, the local business community, and groups representing people with a disability and older people, but there’s still time to have your say before the consultation closes on Thursday 30 November.

“The survey can be found on ‘Your say Belfast’ and is quick and easy to respond to – please visit and share your views to help shape the future of our outdoor areas.”

For more information on pavement cafés, visit


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