Statement on Outside Dining in the Market Place

Published by Northleach with Eastington Town Council on 12 October 2022.

The Town Council at its meeting on 28 September 2022 resolved to support an outline proposal from Cotswold District Councillor Tony Dale to widen the pavement on the Market Place.

The reasons given were that the pavement extension would benefit the community, especially the most vulnerable who would benefit from a safer environment and residents who enjoy the vibrant atmosphere that a pavement hospitality scene generates.

Gloucestershire Highways has been informed and we are awaiting further information from them on the design and costs of the scheme.

The Town Council appreciates that many people value the outside dining space while others are concerned about the loss of parking spaces. We have been working with all parties to try and find the best possible outcome for the town.

The tables and chairs on the Market Place were introduced during the pandemic after new laws simplified the process for issuing pavement licences. Grant monies were available to provide planters and barriers around the tables and chairs, and Town Council officers put considerable efforts into developing the scheme. Unfortunately, a second pavement licence was refused by Cotswold District Council and we learned that the first licence had been issued incorrectly. The legal department at Gloucestershire Highways has advised there is no legislation permitting tables and chairs on the carriageway. The Town Council felt it could not justify spending public money on the scheme when permission could be withdrawn at any moment.

We now know that the existing licence was not withdrawn but has not been renewed by Cotswold District Council. The Town Council is supporting the proposal to widen the pavement which would allow for pavement licences to be issued in the future and will share further information as it becomes available.

Any questions about pavement licences should be directed to Cotswold District Council.


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