Pavement tables

Posted On July 10, 2018
July 10, 2018

The recent move by the local council to charge Chorleywood cafes and restaurants who have seating outside their premises has angered many. And where does it stop?    Three Chorleywood Magazine readers comment

Our village has a number of coffee houses and eateries that have tables and chairs on the pavement.

This adds much to the visual and social environment, particuarly during the summer months when the area takes on a continental feel.
 
Sadly however, having received just two complaints the local council are now pursuing these premises for planning permission at a cost of £350 each.
Should the businesses be successful in winning permission to keep their al fresco dining arrangements then they will incur an addition to their business rates.
 
Is this the way to help our ailing high streets?
 
 Bob Stebbings.
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Following a complaint from a local resident relating to outside pavement seating by coffee shops these premises have now been issued by the council with an initial £350 planning application.

This will then be followed by an annual fee of £150.  On top of this the council is demanding that these premises are insured for a £10 million Public Liability whereas generally these small premises 
are covered by a PL for £2million.  Added to the above fees this is going to financially hit the owners extremely hard, perhaps even forcing some to close.
 
Does the council then propose to issue the same regulations on the other shop keepers in Chorleywood who arrange their wares outside their shops on the pavement?  Most of Lower Road and Main Street are guilty of this offence.
 
The council appear desperate to obtain extra revenue to boost their coffers and haven’t thought this through properly.  Chorleywood is also desperate to keep the village alive and vibrant and encourage shoppers to support 
it’s shops, restaurants and coffee shops.  Nobody wants to see empty premises and a run down high street.  Chorleywood is unique to other villages/towns as it doesn’t get passing trade so therefore has to rely on local support.
The last thing any of us wants is a ghost town given over to more flats and not the lovely village where people can meet up for a coffee or have a quick chat as we pass a table of people we know sitting outside enjoying the sun.
VMF

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Jordan Williams

Manager, Rootz Café adds

 

While I understand that the pavements are council property I believe that there is a fairer way to work this ‘chairs and tables’ tax which would soften the blows for smaller businesses. Under the current rules a shop with a post-card stand outside would end up paying the same as a shop with a dozen chairs and tables. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

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