Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Alnwick urged to sign up for outdoor seating licence

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An Alnwick councillor has urged local pubs, cafes and restaurants wanting to put tables and chairs outside to sign up for a fast-track system.

A pavement licence will allow some businesses to place removable furniture over parts of the pavement next to their premises to serve food and drink, after the Government passed new legislation to speed up the process.

Unlike some local authorities, Northumberland County Council has decided not to charge an application fee for pavement licences to help support businesses coming out of lockdown.

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Cllr Gordon Castle, ward member for Alnwick, said: “The intention is to make it easier for all publicans, restaurants and cafes to deal with social distancing problems inside their premises by putting tables outside.

The Olive Branch Cafe in Alnwick.The Olive Branch Cafe in Alnwick.
The Olive Branch Cafe in Alnwick.

“It’s a very straightforward process but they must register it via the council website. My advice to those businesses wanting to apply is not to delay because the intention is to try and turn is around in seven days.

"I have gone around every single Alnwick cafe and pub that has shown interest and told them to get this application in because we are trying to bring business back to life. The county council will do all it can to help.”

Applicants must make sure their proposals consider the safety and access needs of others, particularly wheelchair users, young parents with pushchairs and those with low vision.

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These temporary measures will remain in force until September 30, 2021.

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