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Al fresco for free

Council agrees to waive tables and chairs licensing for another year

Test Valley businesses applying to create outdoor seating areas can continue to do so for free, after council chiefs agreed to waive the fee for the licensing of tables and chairs on the highway for at least a further 12 months.

Test Valley Borough Council first paused charging for the licence in 2020 to support eateries reopening following lockdown.

There is also now a simpler application form and consultation process, which means that the authority can turn around licensing decisions in a couple of weeks.

Businesses can apply via the council’s website, at

The news comes as TVBC recently announced that it would be driving forward new feasibility and urban design projects linked to the Andover masterplan, which aims to completely transform the town centre and make it the perfect place for people to dine, relax and socialise, as well as live and work.

Leader of the council, Phil North, said: “Creating vibrant, outdoor spaces for people to eat, drink and socialise is a key focus of the Andover masterplan. Helping businesses by making it easier for them to apply for this licence, while crucially removing the cost, very much supports that ambition.

“We also know that since the pandemic some customers feel safer sat outside where there is more space, so this has multiple benefits in addition to promoting a continental style café culture.

“And although many people will begin to head indoors to escape the colder weather over the coming weeks, extending this for 12 months means that those looking to apply in spring or summer next year will still benefit.”