Bad news for seafront businesses

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 June 2011

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Cutlery

Archant

PLANS are on the table to revoke outdoor seating licences in Weston with immediate effect.

Despite North Somerset Council revealing exciting plans last year for a ‘café culture’ in Pier Square, traders could be forced to keep their tables indoors all-year-round.

Executive member for highways, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, says the drastic measure could be taken along Regent Street, from Big Lamp Corner to the Grand Pier, because high visitor numbers, combined with outdoor seating, is causing problems for pedestrians.

Cllr Ap Rees says he is now faced with two options – to either liaise further with operators to see what strong reasons there are to continue the licences, with a review at the end of the summer, or withdraw consent for the outdoor seating with immediate effect.

A decision has not yet been taken as to which would be the best option – but papers have been drawn up detailing the two possible outcomes.

They say: “Street cafes can make a positive contribution to the street scene and to the vitality of shopping and tourist areas- bringing life, colour and interest onto the street.

“But the extent and location of the seating, together with queuing from retail establishments, combine to restrict the ability of pedestrians, particularly those with impaired mobility.”

The council says it has been in discussions with businesses to see what options there are, but solutions appear limited.

Street café licences can be revoked at any time if it is considered ‘reasonable’ to do so.

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