Southport BID has welcomed new measures which will make the provision of outdoor seating outside local businesses much easier.
Sefton Council has now adopted a new temporary pavement licence process under its Pavement Café Policy.
This new streamlined consent route will allow restaurants, cafés, bars and other establishments to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture such as tables and chairs outside quickly and for a fee of no more than £100.
Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said: “We welcome any support that Sefton Council is able to give to local businesses in order to attract more customers and income at this crucial time in their recovery.
“With social distancing rules firmly in place, these new measures will also help to provide a safe environment for people to sit outside and enjoy themselves.
“With this news arriving during Shop Local Week, the timing for our levy payers is perfect.
“It also comes at a time when we are seeing restaurants, cafés and bars locally becoming very busy thanks to the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, with more than 100 venues in our town taking part.
“I would urge everyone in Southport to enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the great offers and Shop Local to support our local businesses.”
Sefton Council made the decision to make outdoor seating easier and quicker for firms due to its appreciation that the hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit by the restrictions put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With many businesses now back open again after months of closure, due to limited space and to implement the Government’s social distancing measures, many cafes, restaurants and bars may wish to use outdoor seating areas to allow customers to safely sit and eat and drink.
The temporary measures can be extended up to the end of September 2021, with no requirement for planning permission during this period. The measures also provide automatic extensions to the terms of on-sales alcohol licences to allow for off-sales.
Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services said: “In response to new Government legislation, the council has adopted a Pavement Café Policy to Support local businesses as they recover from this pandemic.
“These new ‘pavement licences’ will allow businesses selling food and drink to obtain permission to place tables and chairs on the public highway outside their premises, whilst still having regards for all users of the highway, especially those with disabilities.
“These measures will help ease some of the legislative requirements concerning planning and licensing, while social distancing guidelines remain in place.
“It’s important that we can support Sefton businesses as we want our high street to bounce back from the effects of Coronavirus.”
For more information on the application and how to apply visit: www.sefton.gov.uk/parking,-
Government guidance (Business and Planning Bill 2020).