Plans to increase Horsham licensing charge

Thursday, 20 June 2024 06:00

By Karen Dunn, Local Democracy Reporter

Horsham Street Seating. Image: (C) GoogleMaps

Cafés, bars and restaurants in Horsham may soon see a change in what they have to pay to place chairs and tables outside their premises.

Since the pandemic, the district council has been responsible for processing applications for Pavement Licences – a temporary arrangement brought in nationally in 2020 to help keep businesses afloat while observing social distancing rules.
The cost of those licences was capped at £100.

Now that temporary arrangement has become permanent and new fees are being proposed.
During a meeting of the licensing committee on Monday (June 17), members recommended that, from July 17, pavement licence
fees be set at £500 for new applications and £350 for  24-month renewals.

This is the maximum allowed and will enable the council to recover the costs of processing, monitoring and enforcing licences.
Before the pandemic, the district council used to operate a scheme for tables and chairs, under delegated authority from the county council.

The fees charged for this were a £688 application fee and £253 for a one-year licence.
Currently, there are 19 of the old town centre licences in existence and 21 of the temporary Pavement Licences – all but one in Horsham itself.

Whilst all of the temporary licenses are due to expire on September 30, the town centre licenses expire at various times throughout the year.

The changes are having to made by local authorities across the country.
In Chichester recently, the district council recommended £285 for a new one-year licence, £222 to renew a one-year licence, £362 for a new two-year licence, and £298 to renew a two-year licence.

The licensing committee’s recommendation regarding the adoption of a new Pavement Licensing Policy will be put to the cabinet, while the recommendation regarding the fees will be put to a meeting of the full council.

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