St Albans council stamping down on chairs and tables cluttering walkways

18th October 2017

A crackdown has been launched to tackle unlicensed al fresco seating after several restaurants and cafés put furniture on pavements without permission.

In a new report to the licensing and regulatory committee, St Albans district council (SADC) officers said businesses need a pavement licence to put any furniture on public highways.

Head of community services for SADC Debbi White said: “Many cafés, restaurants and takeaways in the city centre have placed tables and chairs outside on the pavement to create more space and add to the ambience of the area.

“However, a licence is required to do this as we have to ensure the furniture will not be an obstruction or a safety risk to the public.

“Most businesses comply, but a recent review of French Row and St Peter’s Street revealed a number had not done so.

“We have written to remind them of the licensing requirement and we now expect them to apply for one.

“We have also pointed out that failure to obtain a licence could result in a prosecution for obstruction of the highway for which the maximum penalty is a £1,000 fine.”

The businesses which did not have a licence at the time of the report were Bellaccinos, Simmons, and The Snug on French Row, and Zizzi’s in Christopher Place.

Bellaccinos’ manager Eva Anconi said she would be applying for a licence, and The Snug’s manager Kaylee Ireson said she they had already asked their solicitors to look into it.

Simmons’ licence expired in March 2016, and according to their spokesperson they are looking into renewing it.

A spokesperson for Zizzi’s said: “We are in the process of applying for the licence which we’re hoping to have finalised in the next few months.

“In the meantime we have no outdoor space at our St Albans restaurant.”

Subway and Café Roma on St Peter’s Street were also without a licence at the time the report was published.

Subway manager David Bruce said: “We weren’t aware of the problem, we are now, and an application is process for the licence.”

Café Roma have been contacted by St Albans council, but their manager says he will get in touch with them personally.

To see the report visit tinyurl.com/y7k59s55