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A pavement seems on a basic level to be a public piece of land. I’ve seen notices posted on the outside walls of businesses related to “applications for a pavement license”. Presumably a license to utilise that nevertheless public piece of land in a particular way (ie placing tables and chairs on it for their customers to use).

But does this give them control of the section of pavement as though it was their owned or tenanted property? Surely this cannot be right, and the pavement licensee does not gain a right to exclude others from the otherwise normal public access and usage of the land? If so, where does the business’s control extend to? Does it extend all the way the whole width of the pavement to the curb and road?

Can the business arbitrarily eject or exclude others from this area of pavement?

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  • Why is this being downvoted? Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 21:18
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    without having voted, I see a vote to close for lack of focus, and the explanation you gave is somewhat convoluted, though juuust about understandable in my opinion. Of note: this is a clear improvement to the throwaway questions you had asked in the last days. Keep it up!
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 15:34

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If they have a pavement licence that says so, yes.

Web search "pavement licence". First result:

Guidance: pavement licences (outdoor seating) gov.uk

A pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority, or deemed to have been granted, which allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises in relation to which the application was made, for certain purposes. ...

Cites among other laws, "pavement licences", sections 1 to 10 Business and Planning Act 2020.

Section 7(1):

A pavement licence authorises the restriction, by anything done by the licence-holder pursuant to the licence, of public access to the part of the relevant highway to which the licence relates.

Questions:

Does a pub have a right to control the pavement outside it even if they have permission to place tables and chairs on that section of the pavement?

Yes.

But does this give them control of the section of pavement as though it was their owned or tenanted property?

Well, they can put removable furniture on it. They can't install permanent fixtures.

Surely this cannot be right, and the pavement licensee does not gain a right to exclude others from the otherwise normal public access and usage of the land?

The point of the licence is to give the licensee the use of the area defined by the licence.

If so, where does the business’s control extend to? Does it extend all the way the whole width of the pavement to the curb and road?

It extends to the boundaries defined by the licence. My understanding is a proper licence won't permit them to completely obstruct the pavement. Meaning there should be a passage or gap so that pedestrians can walk from one side of the area to the other.

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  • Okay so that gives them priority or precedence so that is not a problem if their authorised usage in itself happens to exclude others by virtue of simply using the space in the manner that is licensed. But that is different from absolute discretionary exclusion by diktat which right is conferred by tenancy or ownership. Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 21:21
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    Typically, a sidewalk license or the ordinance that establishes them prescribes how much space needs to be given for the public to pass, for example in Hamburg, 2 meters are prescribed, and there are other limits for the area as well as service times
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 16:04

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