MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council is inviting businesses in the county that would like to serve food and drink in outside spaces to get in touch.

The council says that in a move to "further support the revitalisation of the high streets", it is getting behind plans to create a "cafe culture environment" which has caused a stir in the town since social distancing measures were announced last month.

When pubs, restaurants and cafes reopen, the council envisage allowing those places a space to "expand into the street" with tables and chairs outside, but businesses must apply for permission.

If businesses want to expand outside, they are asked to apply for permission via the MyMonmouthshire app, which can be found at 

The online application form will ask for additional supporting information such as a sketch of the area required and evidence of public liability insurance.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs will need to consider the following points when applying:

  • Is there sufficient pavement width outside the property to accommodate tables and chairs whilst still maintaining 1.5m clear space for pedestrians?
  • How will social distancing be managed?
  • Are there other outside spaces that can be considered as seating areas?
  • Will the proposed location of tables and chairs affect existing access along the highway for pedestrians, cyclists and traffic?
  • If your proposal requires closing off part or the whole of the road what impact will this have to through traffic?

The new changes around the county which have allowed for widened pavements so businesses can operate better post-lockdown, have received plenty of criticism so far.

Monmouthshire County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Jane Pratt said: “Given the latest Covid-19 regulations, it is likely many more establishments will be considering utilising outdoor spaces than ever before. 

"I would urge owners of cafés, coffee shops, public houses and restaurants to take this opportunity to think about how the Café Culture approach could work for their premises and to make an application from the 13th July, when the hospitality sector is allowed to reopen.

"Every effort will be made to process these swiftly, however there may be a delay should demand be high. I have every hope this will not only help more businesses recover from the devastating financial impact of the pandemic, but it will also make our high streets even more attractive for returning shoppers.”