Norwich landlord gets the green light for city centre beer garden

The Murderers, Timberhill, Norwich. Photo ; Steve Adams

The Murderers, Timberhill, Norwich. Photo ; Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A Norwich pub landlord has been given the go ahead to create an outdoor dining area in the middle of the city centre.

Phil Cutter, landlord of the Murderers at Timberhill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Phil Cutter, landlord of the Murderers at Timberhill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

After two meetings and lengthy deliberations, Norwich City Council has given Phil Cutter, landlord of The Murderers permission to create an al fresco dining area consisting of 10 tables and 30 chairs off Orford Hill.

The council's decision comes after a meeting in May when, after hearing two hours of arguments for and against the application, members of the regulatory sub committee asked Mr Cutter to provide more evidence on how the seating area would be run.

Presenting the council with the required evidence, on Monday Mr Cutter answered questions on how he planned to operate the dining area which would be open daily from 8am to 9pm between March and October, would be staffed by two people at all times and rather than being an extension of the bar would only be for pub customers who had ordered food.

When asked how staff would manage carrying plates of hot food down the hill to the seating area from the main pub, Mr Cutter said: "We have had tables and chairs outside the pub for 24 years and we have never had an issue.

"Most of our staff can carry three to four plates at a time without any worry and there will be more staff in the pub to carry plates of food if needed."

Objecting to the application, David Foskett managing director of Moss and Leakey asked Mr Cutter how he would manage staffing the area. Mr Cutter said: "When you are in the service industry you're responding to supply and demand.

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"I've got plenty of staff to give extra hours to and I have lots of students who come back over the summer months. Absolutely I will be able to staff this area at any time," he said.

Deciding that they were satisfied the new seating area would not detract from the public space on Orford Hill, and would not block the highway, councillors granted Mr Cutter permission for the outdoor seating area.

Following the meeting, Mr Cutter said he was very pleased with council's decision. He said: "I think that it's going to be an interesting time for us. The whole idea is to encourage people to use Timber Hill and the surrounding area.

Adding that he intends to have the new area ready for next year Mr Cutter said: "To start it now would be a little bit tight, March 2020 gives us more time."

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