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Cafe’s pavement plan wins support

A DARTMOUTH cafe and takeaway wants planning permission to provide tables and chairs on the pavement outside.
Town councillors are happy with tables and chairs being outside Skipppers in Fairfax Place, but don’t believe they can change the actual use of the pavement.
Cllr David Gent, chairman of Dartmouth Town Council’s planning committee, said: ‘We’ve had this sort of thing before. The pavement remains the pavement and you can put tables and chairs on it if you have a licence but you cannot change the use.
‘You cannot say this pavement is going to be my cafe.’
Last week’s planning committee was debating a retrospective change of use of pavement to street cafe application from Skippers.
Cllr Rob Lyon said he didn’t have a problem with the tables and chairs that had been outside in front of the window for some time. But on the other side of the front door may not be quite as sensible, he added.
Cllr Sue Thomson said the pavement was not particularly wide there for people with wheelchairs and prams.
Cllr Paul Allen called for a definition of a street cafe. He said: ‘The implication is, if they became a licensed premises, they might be able to serve a glass of wine out there. I think it needs more clarity.
‘Tables and chairs is one thing but a street cafe is something else. We don’t want to kill off the continental feel but we need to be clear on what this means.’
Cllr Lyon said he didn’t see the difference between sitting out having glass of wine or half a pint of beer to enjoying a coffee.
And Cllr Roger Chilcott said it did give ‘vibrancy to the life of the town and was all power to Dartmouth’s elbow’.
The committee agreed it would have no objection to the tables and chairs but would like clarification on the change of use.
Meanwhile, a Dartmouth pub, The Ship in Dock, has resubmitted plans for two decking platforms outside its premises in Ridge Hill.
The public house, opposite Coronation Park, says the proposed alterations do not alter the property itself but would provide customers with an outside seating area off the pavement.
The extent of the timber decking will be within the ownership of the pub, it says in a statement to South Hams Council.

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