Food and drink businesses across the district wanting to make better use of outdoor areas can now apply for pavement licenses.
The new fast-track procedure - which allows business owners to seek permission to have furniture such as chairs and tables on public highway outside their premises - will be administered by Folkestone & Hythe District Council (F&HDC).
Powers have been granted to F&HDC by central government following the introduction of the Business and Planning Act 2020, which is designed to help the hospitality sector significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application process has a £100 fee and will take 10 working days. Successful applicants will be granted a licence for an initial six months and, upon renewal, could potentially be extended to the end of September 2021 for free.
Cllr David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said: "Throughout this whole situation, we have been doing everything we can to support the district's businesses. These new powers to issue licenses is another positive boost for the local economy.
"Applications will need to meet national guidelines - they include allowing a space of around 2.5 metres width for passing pedestrians, the provision of non-smoking seating, and the use of disability compliant barriers."
Pavement licenses will be subject to the conditions set out in the application form and may be revoked if they are broken.
Current table and chair licences issued to businesses by Kent Highways remain valid until expiry.
For more information and to apply, visit folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/licensing/pavements
Date published: 31 July 2020