Agenda item

Placing Objects on Highways




This report set out proposals for an all-inclusive policy for dealing with shop front displays, tables and chairs and A-boards on the highway, to ensure parity amongst traders and the public. The policy was originally considered by Cabinet in November 2015, when it had been approved for consultation.


It was explained that the key objectives of policy were to:

·         promote parity and uniform standards, ensuring equity, across shop front traders, cafes and restaurants;

·         present a solution that has minimal cost to businesses and is cost neutral in terms of resources needed to implement the policy;

·         deliver an option that is acceptable and enforceable.


A copy of the proposed policy was attached at Appendix 2 to the report and the outcome of the consultation process was set out in the report and in detail within Appendix 4 to the report. This included the finding that 84.11% agreed that it would be safer for pedestrians to use the high street if there were guidelines setting out to help shops lay out their pieces of furniture.


The Regeneration, Community and Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered proposals for the policy on 28 January 2016 and their comments were set out in section 7 of the report. It was explained that the Committee’s suggested changes to the policy document had been reflected in the draft policy.


It was noted that the findings from the Diversity Impact Assessment (attached at Appendix 3 to the report) suggested that the licensing would have a positive impact for all members of the public, which was reflected in the results from the public consultation.


The report considered the options available and, if agreed, explained the proposed licensing fees and a delegation relating to the function of processing and determining individual applications. It was also explained that implementation would be undertaken via a pilot in Chatham Town Centre commencing in June 2016. Over the course of the year the policy and criteria would be monitored and then a review undertaken. The policy could then be extended to other areas of Medway


Whilst approval of the Policy was a matter for Cabinet it was noted that the fees and charges and delegation of the function to process and determine individual applications to an officer was a matter for Full Council.


Decision number:



The Cabinet agreed the Placing Objects on Highways Policy attached at Appendix 2 to the report.


The Cabinet agreed for a 12 month pilot to be run in Chatham High Street commencing in June 2016, following which a review is submitted to the Regeneration, Community and Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet prior to a borough wide implementation.


The Cabinet recommended to Full Council to approve:

(i)         The licensing fee as set out in paragraph 2.5 of the report;

(ii)        The amendment to the Employee Delegation Scheme as set out in paragraph 10.6 of the report.



The introduction of a Highways Licensing Policy will enhance the aesthetics of the public realm, promoting quality and reinforce necessary safety measures. In addition a clear policy will give traders certainty over what was acceptable or unacceptable; this should address the complaints and enquiries received from traders and the public.

Supporting documents: