The independent London newspaper

Tables and chairs on the streets – we need to apply for permission

26 June, 2020

• AS we approach the reopening of the hospitality industry we are entering into the unknown.

I am operating a small bar/restaurant (50 seats), Jazz After Dark, at 9 Greek Street in Soho.

I was under the impression that Westminster City Council have a proposal in place to close the streets in Soho and other parts of the West End from 5pm to 11pm, to allow bars and restaurants to use the highway for tables and chairs to be able to comply with the social distancing.

I contacted the council last week and was informed that we need to apply for planning permission to be allowed to do that.

Planning permission involves filling lengthy forms, having a professional drawing of the proposed plan and paying a fee of £500.

On top of that planning permission takes a long time – even in normal circumstances – not to mention in this difficult period.

Also it might be refused and one way or another the summer will be over by the time they decide. And if I pay the fees its non-refundable.

I wonder what the idea of is helping the industry with one hand and charging planning fees with the other hand.

I would appreciate any advice in this matter.

Jazz After Dark, W1D 4DQ


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