Debate over cafe’s bid for outdoor seating
By Trevor Brookes - Editor
A CAFE’S proposals to put up tables and chairs on a public green in Barnard Castle has led to an uncertain response from town councillors.
Christine Taylour, owner of Andalucia, has asked permission from Barnard Castle Town Council to use a small area of Galgate Greens opposite her business.
The shop already has tables outside on the pavement but town councillors heard how a man on a mobility scooter “careered” into one of them and a member of staff.
Instead, Ms Taylour would like a few tables for customers on the green but away from the memorial area. She says it would help attract people to that area of Barnard Castle and boost trade for the shops.
However, town councillors were unsure – concerns included staff having to walk across the access road to bring food and drink to customers. Cllr Ian Kirkbride explained: “They would have to cross a public highway to get served. There’s a discussion needed. It’s a right of way to traffic.”
Cllr Sandra Moorhouse added: “If it’s a public space, then the tables and chairs should not be restricted just to their customers.”
But she agreed it was important to try to help businesses in that area.
“They [tourists] do tend to drive past – no one realises that there’s anything up there,” she added.
Town clerk Michael King said: “There is public seating there already but not tables. But that needs to be set against the fact that it’s a memorial garden.”
The meeting heard that, if agreed, the business would need to move the tables in at night and during a public event, such as Aviation Day.
Councillors pointed out that Andalucia was a big supporter of town council activities such as the 1940s weekend.
They said the proposal probably would not come into effect until next summer, so there was plenty of time to make a decision.
The agreed to ask for more information including the number of tables requested.