Date issued: 6 August 2020
As part of its efforts to support and enable businesses to operate in a Covid-secure way, Colchester Borough Council yesterday issued its first temporary pavement permit in the borough to Three Wise Monkeys in Colchester’s High Street.
The Government passed the Business and Planning Bill 2020, on 24 July, allowing businesses to apply for temporary pavement permits to serve food and drink on any part of the public highway.
In its efforts to support local businesses through economic recovery as lockdown restrictions are lifted, the council acted swiftly to set-up the new application process.
Three Wise Monkeys, who have no outdoor space, was the first business in the borough to apply and with no objections being received during the five-day consultation period, a 12-month permit, with site-specific conditions, has been granted.
Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “With the easing of lockdown restrictions and with the warm weather we’re currently experiencing, many people are keen to enjoy food and drink outdoors. This temporary permit legislation means businesses without little or no outdoor space, can now apply to provide this on the public highway, where possible.
“I’d also like to add thank the council’s Licensing Team, who have done a fantastic job in getting this new temporary process set-up so quickly. As always, they will work with the relevant responsible authorities to ensure site-specific conditions are met and that they operate in a way that’s safe for everyone.”
Councillor David King, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources, added: “It’s incredibly important that we do all we can to support businesses during this difficult time. A good long summer can make all the difference to hard pressed but much-loved town centre food and drink businesses and the temporary pavement permit legislation offers them a vital lifeline. To adapt and expand their business offering to customers whilst still ensuring social-distancing takes place. This is a great first step towards the cafe culture we want to see.”
Paul Tonkinson of Pasini Leisure, which runs Three Wise Monkeys, said: “We are delighted that the pavement permit has been issued and thank the team at the council for their support and vision. Outdoor seating will allow more customers to enjoy Three Wise Monkeys, while maintaining a safe social distance.”
Sam Good, Our Colchester Business Improvement District manager, added: “The BID would like to thank Colchester Borough Council, Essex Highways and the licensing team in particular for getting this process turned around so quickly following the BID’s request, as part of the town centre recovery, to ensure businesses have the best opportunity to maximise capacity through a reduction in the overall time the process takes and costs.
“It is essential that our excellent eateries and bars are given every chance to increase sales through what is an unprecedented time for the hospitality sector, and this change allows a far speedier and cheaper process that businesses need to jump at.”
Food and drink businesses who would like further information or wish to apply for a temporary pavement permit can do so on the council’s website.
The temporary permits are currently permitted until 30 September 2021. During this period, the council’s usual arrangements for the licensing of tables and chairs on the highway have been suspended. Premises that have already paid for a permit for this year do not need to take any action at this stage. However, any premises with existing permits due to expire before September 2021 are eligible to apply under this new scheme, once their current permit expires.
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