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‘It’s going to have a massive impact’: Bar welcomes council decision on tables and chair

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 August 2020

Ella Williams and James Wingfield (inset) owners of Frank's Bar which has welcomed Norwich City Council's decision to streamline outdoor seating applications. Picture: Archant

Ella Williams and James Wingfield (inset) owners of Frank's Bar which has welcomed Norwich City Council's decision to streamline outdoor seating applications. Picture: Archant

Archant

Restaurants and bars have welcomed Norwich City Council’s decision to introduce new policies to make it quicker and cheaper for venues to get permission for outdoor seating.

Brewdog on Queen Street in Norwich, Norwich. Photo : Steve AdamsBrewdog on Queen Street in Norwich, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

It is hoped the policy change will enable venues to make use of outdoor space for al-fresco eating and drinking and in turn boost business following the coronavirus lockdown.

On Wednesday, Norwich councillors agreed a new tables and chairs policy - which will see applications streamlined and the public consulted on new outdoor bids for just seven days.

Fees will be lowered and capped at just £100 and the temporary licences will automatically expire in September 2021.

Ella Williams, co-owner of Frank’s Bar in Bedford Street, welcomed the council’s decision.

She said Frank’s Bar, which is in the process of applying for an outdoor seating licence, had been really impressed by the council’s response to premises needing to make use of outdoor spaces.

Ms Williams said: “It’s going to have a massive impact on independent businesses.

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“We have lost half our capacity indoors making [Frank’s] covid safe so just being able to go outside is going to make a huge difference.”

Ms Williams said Frank’s had been speaking to neighbouring businesses to see if they would be happy to allow tables and chairs outside their premises, she said the reaction from neighbours had been really positive.

“It’s about making the city centre a better place, more welcoming and the positive impact on their business.

“It also has a bit more of a European cafe feel,” she said.

Vicky Collis, the manager of Brewdog, on Queen Street in Norwich said she thought councillor’s decision to streamline outdoor seating applications was ‘fantastic’.

She said: “I think it’s fantastic news, we’re waiting on an application of outdoor space.”

Ms Collis said the Norwich branch of the Scottish Brewery was hoping to hear back on its current application within the next couple of weeks.

She said the council’s latest decision was a positive move for businesses in the city: “It’s definitely a big boost, especially with the good weather for people to be able to sit outside is great.”


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