City centre restaurant Bella Italia granted licence for outdoor seating but decision on Warings delayed

Bella Italia in Red Lion Street, where permission is sought to place tables and chairs on the paveme

Bella Italia in Red Lion Street, where permission is sought to place tables and chairs on the pavement. Pic: Dan Grimmer. - Credit: Archant

A city centre Italian restaurant has been granted permission to have tables and chairs outside on the pavement, despite concerns being raised by other nearby businesses.

Warings Lifestore on Westlegate in Norwich. Picture Jessica Long

Warings Lifestore on Westlegate in Norwich. Picture Jessica Long - Credit: Jessica Long

Bella Italia, on Red Lion Street, could soon offer al fresco dining after London-based Casual Dining Services Limited applied for a licence for four tables and eight chairs outside the eatery - which was granted by city councillors on Monday.

But the application had to be amended after concerns were raised that queues from the nearby bus stop, combined with the tables, could block the pavement.

Originally, the business wanted to put six tables and a dozen chairs on the pavement between 8am and 10pm from Monday to Sundays.

But St Stephens Street shoe shop Siddalls wrote to the council to say: 'We go to Barclays Bank on a daily basis and often have to negotiate long queues for buses and people using the cash machines. The placing of tables and chairs in this area, as well, will create a further obstacle for pedestrians.'

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And Red Lion Street hairdressers John Olivers told City Hall officers the suggestion was 'absurd'. They said: 'As it is, customers and employees complain about the fight to get through numbers of people queuing at the bus stop outside Barclays Bank, queues which sometimes finish up around the corner going up Westlegate.'

Michelle Bartram, from Norfolk police's licensing regulation team, said: 'The placing of tables and chairs within this area could cause it to be congested. Therefore consideration should be given as to whether this location is appropriate.'

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However, since the amended application was lodged the request was granted, and the restaurant will be able to have the outdoor seating for one year.

Usually, the licence would be granted for three years but Casual Dining Services Limited only asked for permission for one.

An application for another city centre business - Warings Lifestore, on Westlegate - to have outdoor seating was also discussed.

The business wanted permission to place three tables and eight chairs on the highway, but this was referred to the next regulatory sub committee meeting due to a question over the ownership of the land.

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