A popular Bewdley bar and a new steak restaurant have both been given the go-ahead to create outdoor seating areas designed to boost summer trade.
The Arches pub and neighbouring The Courtyard restaurant were both granted street amenity licences, permitting them to put out tables and seating for customers along the riverside.
The application for The Arches was the bigger and more controversial of the two, as it involved placing 15 tables and enough bench seating for up to 72 people along the riverside on the corner of Severn Side South.
Applicant Alan Preece was supported by an 800-strong petition from customers, but the plan drew objections from conservation experts, Historic England, and three nearby residents.
Bewdley Town Council backed the application but highlighted areas of concern around pedestrian safety and noise nuisance.
Wyre Forest District Council’s licensing and environmental committee voted in favour of the application, but only allowed for 12 out of the 15 tables requested, and also imposed conditions around safe pedestrian access along the riverside.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Preece thanked the committee for supporting the application, which was designed to support summer trade and provide safe outdoor seating for customers.
The seating should also address concerns about drinkers standing outside The Arches, wandering into the roadway and causing a hazard to themselves and traffic.
(Wyrelife live tweeted from the meeting today, the full thread can be accessed here):
Good morning from @wyreforestdc licensing committee, where two applications to create a continental style late night street cafebar scene in #Bewdley are under discussion. LIVE THREAD #Worcestershire #democracy #community #hyperlocal
— Wyre Life (@wyrelife) 11 June 2018
The newly opened The Courtyard, an intimate steak restaurant, successfully applied for a street amenity licence allowing six tables and chairs to be put up on the riverside for alfresco diners.
Seven members of the public had objected to the Courtyard’s application, citing noise nuisance, overcrowding, obstruction and safety issues.
Bewdley Civic Society also recommended the licence application be considered with reduced hours to reduce the risk of nuisance.
But councillors heard owner Antony Jarvis praise the community for welcoming his new business, which specialises in steak and burger meals cooked on an Argentinian grill.
“The community has welcomed us and some of those who objected are happy now they have seen us open. Our outdoor tables are for diners only.”