A Devon council is planning to get tough with cafes and restaurants that refuse to pay for a permit to put tables and chairs on the pavement.
Torbay Council is owed about £3,400 from 14 business that have refused to pay for their pavement licences.
The council’s licensing committee was told the money currently had to be chased as a civil debt. Members approved a new policy to allow officers to revoke a licence if it remained unpaid after 14 days.
Businesses would then be treated as unauthorised and would have their furniture seized and be sent a bill for the cost of enforcement.
Premises found using the pavement without a licence would be told to remove the furniture and apply for a licence within seven days. If they ignore the letter, they would also face their tables and chairs being removed and get a bill for the cost.
Council officer Gary O’Shea said his colleagues had recently identified nine cafes using pavements without a licence and had received six applications.
Two had removed the furniture and another was being given more time because of a change in ownership.