Planning Guidance on going Smoke Free

From 1st July 2007 all enclosed workplaces and public places in England had to be smoke free. This had impact on all business premises including pubs, clubs and restaurants.

The law prohibits smoking:

  • In premises which are open to the public
  • In any premises that are used as a place of work by more than one person
  • In any vehicle used by members of the public or for work by more than one person.

If you propose to erect smoking shelters, canopies and/or put tables and chairs on the highway you are likely to require planning permission. Before carrying out any work you should contact us.

The Wyre Forest District Local Plan

All planning decisions are based on our planning policies which are set out in the Wyre Forest District Local Plan

Table and Chairs

If you wish to place tables and chairs on the highway you will require planning permission and a licence from the Highways Authority. When deciding if planning permission should be granted we will take into account a number of issues including: obstruction of the highway; pedestrian safety; nuisance to adjoining residents; protecting the amenity, character and appearance of an area; impact on historic buildings; potential for litter problems and intensification of the use.

Using existing gardens/yards

Planning permission is not normally required to use ancillary private gardens and yards, providing they are lawfully part of the existing business and have not previously been used or shared by other businesses/users. So for example, unless specifically conditioned when planning permission was originally given, or conditioned when the premises licence was granted, pubs can permit customers to use existing beer gardens and yards to smoke without the need for planning permission. If you intend to use somewhere nearby that is currently used for other purposes you are likely to need planning permission for the change of use of the land. 

Shelters/Canopies/Jumbrellas/Blinds and Space Heaters

Some businesses may use portable freestanding canopies and space heaters. These do not normally require planning permission but you should check with us before proceeding.

The erection of permanent structures/ shelters/large umbrellas (also known as Jumbrellas) blinds or space heaters that are, for example, fixed to the wall will normally require planning permission. In considering such applications, the Local Planning Authority will seek to ensure that any development does not result in a nuisance to adjoining occupiers because of the potential intensification of activity. We will also seek to ensure that the design of the shelter or space heater is sympathetic to it’s surroundings and fits in with the character and appearance of the area, especially if located within a Conservation Area or if the public house is a Listed Building.

Other alterations such as new patio doors will require planning permission. 


Timber decking will usually require planning permission depending on the location and nature of the work. Decking on the front of properties that are highly visible from public views is not likely to be acceptable for townscape reasons.

Listed Buildings

If your building is Listed you are likely to require consent for any physical alterations to your building.

Examples include fixing space heaters to walls, opening up rear walls with patio doors and attaching retractable blinds to the building.

Please remember planning can be very complicated and the content of this advice leaflet is only intended as a rough guide. You should always seek written confirmation that planning permission is not required before proceeding with any work.

It is also important to remember that other parts of the law are not covered here, for example, Building Regulations or any requirement that your lease may contain.

For further advice on Smoking Shelters and other related development, you can contact us.