Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee have approved plans to relax conditions around the process of applying for pavement café licensing, to assist the hard hit hospitality industry.
Members supported the recommendation by officers to extend the period during which an application may be made for a pavement café licence, free of charge, until 31 August 2021.
They also approved the extension of the licence period of existing pavement cafe licences, with a new expiry date of 31 March 2022.
The move will assist local cafés and restaurants who wish to provide outdoor seating for customers once premises are allowed to reopen when the current Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
It will help facilitate outdoor dining providing more space for customers in a safe outdoor location, and allow premises to better accommodate the recommended health and safety measures including social distancing.
The Council is also currently embarking on a public engagement process to gauge views on its pilot streetscape proposals supported by the Department for Communities through the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme.
In June Council had introduced a temporary Pavement Café Licencing scheme/consultation process, waiving all fees associated with granting a licence for a period of six months, to be reviewed by January 2021.
Since introducing the scheme on 1 July, Council has received a total of 31 applications for pavement café licences.
To date, 14 pavement café licences have been issued and officers are continuing to work with applicants in relation to 10 ongoing applications.