Application of encroachment permits, including those for outdoor catering areas :

I am the operator of a catering establishment/bar. Can I use the pavement in front of my premises to place tables and chairs as an outside café?
The use of government-owned public spaces (including pavements) is regulated by the Government Lands Act, CAP 573 and therefore requires a permit from the Lands Authority.  To make use of government-owned public spaces, the applicant needs to submit a GLA12 form.  The form can be downloaded from here ​and has to be filled in by a Perit and sent with the required documents on the indicated email. Further to an evaluation process, the application will be forwarded to a designated Committee for its approval.  In case of approval, the applicant will receive a Consent letter together with an attached site plan (showing the area approved by the Committee for tables & chairs).  If/when this is forthcoming, the Perit will submit a Development Planning Application with the Planning Authority, requesting permission to use the land for the placing of tables and chairs.  A copy of the Lands Authority’s Consent letter needs to be submitted to the Planning Authority with the application.
The Planning Authority assesses the application in terms of approved planning policy which ensures, amongst others, that pedestrian movement on the pavement is not hindered.  When an application is approved, the permit will be issued subject to a number of Standard Conditions for Tables & Chairs Permits plus any ad hoc conditions that may be required.  The permit does not exonerate the grantee from obtaining other permits required at law.
At this stage, the applicant just needs to inform the Lands Authority, providing a full copy of the Planning Authority permit.  The Lands Authority will then proceed with issuing an Encroachment Permit which the applicant will obtain upon payment.
A copy of the permit shall be forwarded to MTA. Should any of these entities require the Encroachment Permit to be withdrawn, the Lands Authority shall withdraw the permit.
Outdoor Catering Area Policy

Policy, Guidance and Standards for Outdoor Catering Areas on Public Open Space was published on 01/06/2016. Amongst other policies, applications for tables and chairs need to be in conformity with the OCA (Outdoor Catering Area) Policy.  The policy document can be accessed through from here.

For more information one may contact Lands Authority from here.

Last updated December 2019