Application for permission to place table and chairs on the highway
The Chair confirmed that both the applicant (Mr Stephens) and the objector (Mr Harding) were present. He then explained the procedure to both parties.
The Licensing Team Leader introduced the report.
The Chair then asked the Members if they had any questions for the Licensing Team Leader, as follows:
- Clarification of whether the new tables and chairs will block the entrance for the Regent Arcade.
- The sketch shows that the tables and chairs are in the top left hand corner but the other plan shows them on the entire length of the entrance.
- Point to start, they don’t cross Ormond Place therefore does the arcade have the right to refuse.
- Are the table and chairs in the top left blocking anything? Is the main entrance required - access to and from the cinema.
The responses from the Licensing Team Leader and Legal Officer - were as follows:
- The entrance to the cinema and the fire exit will be opposite, objector will need to inform the committee how the tables and chairs will partly obstruct the door to the left but the other doors will not be obstructed.
- The application can not affect the tables and chairs that are already there, the ones on the plan towards Regent Street and by the arcade are additional.
- As the tables and chairs don’t cross the centre of the highway the Regent Arcade are able to object to the application but are not able to refuse consent as it doesn’t cross the highway that’s why the matter is at committee.
- The corner where the tables and chairs are proposed has nothing in it, the benches and the cycle racks have both gone, there is no obstruction.
The Chair then gave the applicant the opportunity to question the Licensing Team Leader – the applicant confirmed that he had no questions.
The objector asked the following question:
- When does the current licence expire.
The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that it expires on 27/11/20.
The applicant then was asked to present his application and made the following points:
- During these difficult times they have had to remodel their business to be more food orientated to survive.
- They have taken the window shop over on the corner (formally Chanticleer) to become another bar and restaurant.
- There used to be a firebox in the corner where the proposed tables and chairs will be, this has now been removed since the redevelopment at the arcade.
- Now that the benches have been removed there is the opportunity to make the area a bit more alfresco and cosmopolitan. Which should add value rather than detract.
- Access to the arcade is now bigger and the Aquavitae banner will be in line with that.
- Due to the current situation the outside tables and chairs must comply with social distancing.
- The corner tables and chairs will ensure clear footfall.
- Wall to wall the gap is 10.5 metres, at the peak the tables and chairs take up 2.7 metres which gives more than enough space for emergency vehicle access, however if an emergency does occur then all the fixtures are moveable so can be moved at very short notice.
- The bar applies for a temporary entertainment licence for Gold Cup week every year, which includes permission to set up early, there were not any complaints or feedback.
- The current licence commences at 9.30 however the bar does not open until 5.30.
- There has been a concern raised regarding the chairs and tables causing a problem for visitors and locals, however the applicant wishes to attract the same clientele as the arcade.
- There is concern over health and safety issues, they brush the outside area and also pay for Ubico to jet wash the area.
The Chair then asked the Members if they had any questions for the applicant, there were none so the objector was then asked to speak.
The objector then made the following points:
- Their main reason for objecting was on health and safety grounds.
- Canada Life has invested a substantial amount of money upgrading the pavements on Ormond Place despite the applicant stating that the area is professionally cleaned however after lockdown there were shovels full of glass that had to be cleaned up.
- A question was raised as to why the drinks outside are served in glass and not plastic.
- As part of the redevelopment of the Arcade the cinema will hopefully be open in the late Autumn there is concern that the plans for the new tables and chairs will block the entrance and that cinema goers wont want to weave through the drinkers as they enter or exit the cinema.
- There was a concern that the car park income from the Arcade car park would be affected.
- There was clarification issued that the street furniture that has been removed will be returned to the area.
- The objector wants to work in harmony with the applicant but believes that the implications out weigh the benefits
Members then put their questions to the objector as follows:
- When the street furniture is re instated and with the new tables and chairs will emergency access be a problem?
- Is there a conflict of clientele with the cinema and Aquavitea?
- Will the tables and chairs effect the thoroughfare?
Answers were as follows:
- Gloucestershire County Council will do an assessment when they return the street furniture to make sure that the emergency access will be un-affected.
- There is a conflict of clientele as there is a cinema in Bath similar to the one that will be open in Cheltenham and families tend to be there between 8 and 9pm.
- In the past there has been obstruction of the thoroughfare but this has not affected the Arcade as it has been shut at the time.
The matter then went to Member debate and the following points were raised:
- The objector seems most concerned about the busy periods during Race Week when the whole town is busy and people cant get in and out of shops and bars easily. The scenario with the new cinema will be very similar to the set up at the Brewery with Cineworld and the restaurants there and that seems to work well for both parties.
- During these difficult times the applicant has had to change his business, at the moment you can not go into a bar or pub without booking, felt that we need to support as this plan will allow people to be safe.
- There needs to be a change in businesses as places need to expand their seating and be Covid secure.
- Some concern over the access and the cinema, there is a need to manage the cinema goers and drinkers.
- As there is no need for cinema goers who have used the Arcade car park to leave the Arcade to go back to their cars this is a positive thing.
- Historically on the site in the 1800’s there was a riding school and stables, in the 1900’s there was a road and 2 cottages therefore the Arcade is not a frontager.
- The tables and chairs as laid out in the plan do not obstruct the walk way, however the licensing committee can not control the public realm.
- The issue of smashed glass found after lockdown can not be blamed on the bar as it could have come from anywhere as it is a public space.
- We may need to look at the matter again once the street furniture is re instated to see how the tables and chairs fit.
- There was disappointment that the two parties could not come to agreement together.
- There was a question as to whether there could be a condition added to the application due to the distance and what the committee can do regarding the street furniture. The Licensing Team Leader explained that this comes under the highways act and is not the concern of the committee.
- There was a point raised as to how long the grant of the application will last for, the Licensing Team Leader explained that it is for a year but can be bought back to the committee sooner.
The Applicant was then given the right of reply:
- As a given there is in house security and door staff, currently there is a minimum of 2 on a Friday and Saturday night, however when things return to normal there will be a minimum of 5.
- If anyone goes beyond the barriers staff will do their best to move them to the area within the barriers.
- The fixed seating wasn’t supposed to be reinstated however the applicant will do his best to comply, the doorman will protect the wellbeing and safety of clients.
- Would like the area to be like the Brewery for mutual benefit to both the Arcade and Aquavitae.
The Legal Officer then went to the vote:
1.4.1 – to grant
The Chair closed the matter by stating that the committee was only there as an arbitrator of last resort. Everyone wants the town to thrive and people need to work together.
The licensing team will contact the applicant in due course.
Councillor Stafford left the meeting.
- report with amends - final, item 5. PDF 446 KB
- Appendix A, item 5. PDF 260 KB
- Appendix B (1), item 5. PDF 62 KB
- Appendix B (2), item 5. PDF 499 KB