On the 21 July 2020 an Urgent Delegated Decision was made to delegate the District Council’s function in relation to “Pavement Licences” under the Business and Planning Act 2020 to Lincolnshire County Council up until the 30 September 2021.
It had now been confirmed that the provisions within the Act would be extended until the 30 September 2022. The Committee therefore gave consideration to a report in which it was proposed that the existing Sub-Delegation of Pavement Licences to Lincolnshire County Council be extended until 30 September 2022
The report set out the rationale for proposing to continue with the delegated arrangement noting, prior to the Business and Planning Act 2020, such matters had been a function of the County Council and as such the District Council had no processes in place to administer the function.
Section 3 of the report set out the extent of the current Sub-Delegation, the services the County Council provided as a result, free of charge and the number of applications made since the introduction of the legislation, which amounted to six in the District. There were alternative options to the Council and these were outlined in Section 4.
Debate ensued and given some Members’ experiences, some were of the view that in the longer term in may be better that the District Council undertake the function within the auspices of the planning remit, as it was considered there were a number of conditions and circumstances which appertained to planning. Recent experiences were shared including difficulties in seeking enforcement from Lincolnshire County Council, with a suggestion this would be much easier if the function remained in-house due to it being more localised, and Officers having more local knowledge of specific circumstances. Some Members felt there needed to be a greater input at a local level.
Members were reminded that street licensing was historically a County Council function, and as such the District Council had limited systems and resources in place to manage the emergency legislation. Returning the function in-house was an option that could be considered should the legislation continue to be extended and should uptake increase, particularly with the planned regeneration in Gainsborough.
Officers also highlighted, whilst the legislation was not intended to ride roughshod over the issues highlighted by Members, it was fully focussed on enabling and allowing businesses to extend their operations due to the restrictions. Therefore from a planning perspective, unless there was a significant impact, it would be difficult to not allow a business to have a cafe/pavement licence. Accepting Members concerns however, Officers did have the ability to and would feedback the issues which had been raised.
In response to questions, it was confirmed that both the Licensing and Planning Departments of West Lindsey were consulted when applications for such licences were received, but again were reminded the emphasis of the legislation was to enable businesses.
Following discussion and having been moved and seconded it was: -
(a) the District Council’s function in relation to “Pavement Licences” ... view the full minutes text for item 14