A CRACKDOWN on commercial obstructions will see businesses in Burton and Uttoxeter having to fork out for a licence to put seating outside.
East Staffordshire Borough Council put forward plans to tackle the number of 'A' boards and outdoor seating outside shops in the borough earlier in the year following a number of complaints about obstructions on public highways.
Councillors approved the recommendations for the policy at a cabinet meeting on Monday night.
The policy will see pubs, restaurants and cafes with outdoor street cafes enforced through a licensing process.
Existing street cafes will be made aware of conditions in the policy and any changes that need to take place. They will then have a 14-day period to apply to the council for a licence which will be judged by council officers.
Advertising boards will be enforced by a blanket consent approach providing businesses are adhering to conditions laid out in the policy, such as the height and position of boards.
Deputy leader for regulatory services Sonia Andjelkovic believes the move will be beneficial for businesses.
She said: "It makes it fair for everyone – a level playing field – if businesses are all complying to the same conditions and have just one board each.
"We have met with the Chamber of Commerce and they were positive about it. It will be good for all businesses."
Leader of the council Julian Mott, pictured, said: "This isn't something we've plucked out of thin air, we're not trying to make money out of businesses.
"These boards and street cafes are obstructions under the Highways Act and are technically illegal. We want to keep streets tidy and free from obstructions."