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Outdoor smoking areas and shelters

There is no requirement to provide outdoor smoking areas or smoking shelters, however if you want to provide these facilities then consider the following:

  • Ensure that the shelters or outdoor smoking are not enclosed or substantially enclosed. Over 50% of the perimeter under a roof or ceiling must be space to be considered not substantially enclosed
  • The shelter may need planning permission. Download the planning guidance on smoke-free development
  • If you wish to use land as a smoking area that does not currently form part of the premises in question please contact Planning
  • If your premises holds a premise license under The Licensing Act 2003 there may be conditions on your licence affecting the use of the outdoor areas. Please contact Licensing for further information
  • If you wish to use the outside pavement area in front of your premises you may require a street trading licence. See street trading for more information
  • If you wish to construct timber decking or making other alterations to the outside of the building please contact Planning
  • Consider the potential noise impact caused by people congregating outside a premises to smoke. For more information see noise pollution and statutory nuisance
  • Think about how to minimise litter for cigarette ends by providing extra housekeeping around those areas or providing stubbing out bins. In some instances planning permission may be required

Enclosed or substantially enclosed

The law prohibits smoking in any public place that is “enclosed or substantially enclosed”.

Premises will be considered enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof and, except for doors, windows or  passageways are wholly enclosed, on a permanent or temporary basis for example tents or marquees.

Premises will be considered substantially enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof, but there are permanent openings in the walls, which are less than half of the total areas of walls (including other structures which serve the purpose of walls). This is known as the 50% rule.

See also

Contact us

Environmental Health Commercial
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3025