Businesses are set to receive a boost as a council is allowing them to provide outdoor seating for customers free of charge.

West Oxfordshire District Council is waiving and refunding the fees for pavement licences which allow businesses to operate outdoors and place sales and display material on the public highway.

Duncan Enright, deputy leader responsible for economic development, explained the council was trying to encourage businesses such as cafes to use outdoor spaces 'to extend what they do and also bring life to the high street'.

He said the council would provide support for businesses to help them plan safely "because, of course, people still have to get past on scooters and buggies and so on. So we need to make sure that it's done carefully."

He said it would not be feasible for some businesses who front narrow pavements "but we would still love to see more businesses trading outside".

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"I think people have suddenly discovered the delights of having a coffee outside, having a meal. I think that this is the way of things to come as well," he said.

"It gives real life, I think, to our high streets, makes them really buzz and that's one of the wonderful things. It's very sociable."

No business can operate outdoors without a consent licence in place, so an application must be made at

But Mr Enright said the process will be "much more straightforward and at no cost to business".



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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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