Renfrewshire Council

Occasional licences and outdoor seating for cafes, bars and restaurants

How to apply for an occasional licence, a paving permit or planning permission for outdoor seating in a cafe, pub or restaurant.

On this page:


Occasional licence to sell alcohol on an unlicenced premises

You need an occasional licence under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 to sell alcohol on a premises that is not licensed.

What documents you need

  • If you hold a premises licence or personal licence outwith Renfrewshire Licensing Board area you must enclose a copy of that licence with each application you make.
  • If you are a representative of a voluntary organisation you must enclose a copy of the organisation's constitution with each application you make.
  • If the occasional licence is for an area outside you require to enclose a copy of a detailed plan showing the extent of the outside area (in metres), any furniture to be used within the area, what is being used to delineated the area to be licensed (fencing, barriers etc) and exits and entrances.  Please also provide information on what toilets will be used and how the premises/area will operate to allow social distancing to be maintained.  
  • If the area is on the pavement or road, you are ordinarily required to apply to the Roads Department and the Planning Department for permission before you can operate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you are only required to submit the occasional licence application. Information from your application will be used to apply to the Roads Department for the Roads Occupation Permit on your behalf.  The Planning Department cannot process any temporary applications at this time.
  • If the land to which the occasional licence is sought is not owned by the applicant for the occasional licence you will require to submit a letter of consent from the land owners or if you are the owner of the land, please confirm this when making your application.

You can find out the costs and details of liquor licence fees on the liquor application forms and fees page.

How to apply

Email your occasional licence application form [152KB] , along with your supporting documentation to licensing.cs@renfrewshire.gov.uk  and make payment on MyAccount.

All applications for occasional licence should be made at least 28 days from the date of the event or start date. Applications lodged later will be accepted but may not be granted due to the timescales involved.

See also the occasional licence mandatory conditions [10KB] .

Consultation, objections and representations to you application

A copy of your application will be sent to Police Scotland who have 7 days to response and the Licensing Standards Officer who have 21 days to respond. They will carry out their own investigations and report back to the licensing section. The application is also advertised on the Council website for a period of 7 days for anyone to object.

If an objection or representation is received the Licensing Board will give notice of the objection or representation to the applicant which thereafter will be considered by two members of the Licensing Board.  

If you are granted a licence

A copy of the conditions of licence for occasional licence will be issued to you if your licence is granted. The licensing board requires all licenceholders to have a thorough understanding of these conditions.

An occasional licence lasts for the period of the application or such shorter period as the Board may determine.  Applications can only be made up to a maximum of 14 days per application.


Permit for café, pub and restaurant outdoor seating

If you have a cafe, pub or restaurant and you want to adapt your premise to provide outdoor tables and seating, you will need a pavement permit. You can request this by emailing our Roads team at ei@renfrewshire.gov.uk or calling 0300 300 0380.


Planning and permission for covered outdoor seating

If you are providing a cover over your outdoor seating area, such as a pergola, you may need a building warrant and planning permission. For more information on building warrants, contact our Building Standards team by email to bc@renfrewshire.gov.uk. For help with planning, email the Planning team at dc@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 618 7835.