Seafront bar gets seating go-ahead

CUSTOMERS at Great Yarmouth's Long Bar can sit outside and enjoy drinks and food after an outdoor seating plan was approved. Councillors considered the retrospective planning application for tables and chairs outside the Marine Parade bar at Tuesday's development control committee meeting.

CUSTOMERS at Great Yarmouth's Long Bar can sit outside and enjoy drinks and food after an outdoor seating plan was approved.

Councillors considered the retrospective planning application for tables and chairs outside the Marine Parade bar at Tuesday's development control committee meeting.

A similar application was refused by planning officers in 2006 when it was considered proposals for outside seating and barriers fixed to the highway would constitute a danger and obstruction to pedestrians.

The latest application for a removable outdoor seating area measuring 8m by 4m was a temporary scheme, which planning officers said would have to be assessed in October next year. Owner Shane Butcher told the committee he could see no problem with the outdoor seating area.


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Hotel owners Leisureplex said they felt the application could increase noise and nuisance outside the 76-bedroom hotel which “already generates a substantial amount of noise and nuisance”.

They added: “The Long Bar current hours of operation are excessive in the extreme. Providing an outdoor area to this premises will only exacerbate the already out of control problem.”

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A spokesman said out of the group's hotels, the New Beach had the worst return rate.

Opposing the plans, Labour's Michael Jeal said: “Residents in this area have complained to me on numerous occasions about noise and people coming out at 6am. If you think the residents who live there want this then you are living in cuckoo land.”

Speaking in favour of the application Labour leader Mick Castle said: “This is not a risk to the council's vision to have seating all along the seafront. In my ward there is seating outside the Troll Cart and there seems to be no problems there.

“It is totally up to that premises for them to run the external seating area in the proper way. If the doubting people are right then it will not be there next year.”

Committee chairman, Conservative Charles Reynolds, said councillors had to give weight to the concerns raised by the New Beach Hotel and criticised the Long Bar for putting tables and chair outside the premises without planning permission. He said: “I think it's absolutely wrong they have been able to do this. But we are here with a proper planning application.”

Mr Reynolds moved to amend the application, suggesting approving plans until October 31 this year so the scheme could be evaluated for the 2010 season.

He added: “I can assure you that this will be observed by the council's enforcement officers.”

Speaking against the amendment Mr Castle said that to give the applicant a fair chance the committee should grant the planning application until the end of next season.

Councillors approved the outdoor seating application until October 31 this year and to only operate between 8am and 9pm.

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