Agenda item

Response to Consultation to revised Street Scene Policy

Report of the Licensing Team Leader


The Senior Licensing Officer presented the response to the consultation on the revised Street Scene Policy.  He stated that the public consultation period was open until 14 January and that members of the committee had the opportunity now to feedback their comments to the Cabinet Member for Cyber and Safety, for consideration by Cabinet.  Members were asked to note the revisions to the revised policy as outlined in Appendix 2 to the report.  It was subsequently pointed out that members had a copy of the revised report but without the amendments being highlighted.


Apart from some minor grammatical changes, the principal proposed changes related to strengthening the authority’s position on determining applications that do not comply with policy; lengthening the consultation period; formalising the requirement to maintain minimum 1.8m unobstructed thoroughfare; updating the council’s approach to enforcement; and permissions around advertising structures such as A boards.


The Chair thanked the Licensing team for the work they had done on this policy.


One member raised the point of the raised piece of land between Montpellier wine bar and the Courtyard, which was privately owned land and where there had been  issues about tables and chairs and signage on this private land and who was responsible for them.  He felt this should be regularised.


The Chair felt a discussion with Highways to get a better understanding of the rules regarding private land could be beneficial.


A member pointed out that there were several references to Cheltenham Borough Council’s Local Plan adopted in 2006, however he pointed out that a new one was adopted in 2019.  This needed to be altered and to double check that the core commercial area was still the same in the new policy.  The Licensing Officer would verify this.


Concern was also expressed about the interpretation of the default position and presumption of refusal, as many applications came to committee because they did not comply with policy.  The Chair pointed out that it was the committee’s role to state the reasons for reaching any decision.


In response to a member’s concern about the 1.8m ruling and whether this distance should be the same for passing both tables and chairs in the highway as well as A boards, and whether the latter should be 1.2m, the Licensing Officers were asked to review this measurement as a sensible consideration.  Another member however felt that the distance should not be changed.


The Chair asked Officers to ensure there was a robust equalities impact assessment on this and to consider sending the consultation to the likes of the National Institute for the Blind and other disability charities to be able to comment on the policy to ensure accessibility for those who struggle. 


The Chair also wished to look at alternative signage provision, whereby businesses in lower footfall areas could purchase a modular sign that could be attached to something, enabling a single piece of street furniture as opposed to several.


Members were asked to:


·         Note the revisions to the revised policy as outlined in the report; and

·         Acting as lead consultee to the Cabinet Member for Cyber and Safety, submit any comments or response this committee wished to make for consideration by Cabinet.


All the comments made by members had been noted by the Officers and would be forwarded to cabinet.


Upon a vote it was carried.


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