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We blogged recently that we might have new law this week – sadly this is no longer happening.  Whilst it passed the Commons stages on 29th June, the rumours are that the Home Office are predicting Royal Assent for the Business and Planning Bill on 30 July.  It is anticipated that it will be held up in Lords.  It is scheduled for its second reading in the House of Lords on the 6th July.  There is a chance it could pass the same day, although that seems unlikely.  It was hoped these changes to pavement cafes and off sales would be law in time for pubs opening on the 4th, but that is now not going to happen.

On reflection, this might not be a bad thing since premises do need some time to adjust to a new way of trading with new Covid risk assessments etc.

Some premises might have been waiting on these changes as part of their opening strategy and may feel a little let down.  We might therefore see a rise in variation applications.  Some will not want to wait on what the government may or may not do with off sales for example?  As far as pavement cafe licences, maybe councils who are probably already prepared will still proceed…they are doing their best to help the trade (certainly my current experience).

For advice on variation applications or any other licensed trade matter, get in touch with Matt Foster on 0191 281 6151 or email

There’s still lots of uncertainty but we are all trying to stay positive. Watch this space!

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