Enjoying the summer Al fresco

24 June 2020

Enjoying a meal, drink or just a snack in our city centre, towns and villages while watching the world go by has been denied during the lock down but there is a welcome change on the way.

When the country moves to the next phase of opening our high streets for restaurants, cafes and bars, Cheshire West and Chester Council will be able to allow tables and chairs to return to the outside of premises.

Not only will Al fresco dinning be a welcome addition to streets but applying for a licence has been made easier and free of charge during this summer.

Councillor Karen Shore, The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “The scientists tell us that staying outside is a safer way to protect ourselves from COVID-19. I am delighted we can now prepare for the next phase of opening the high street.

“The past few months have been a challenge for everyone, to help the recovery from the pandemic, Al fresco licences across the borough will be free of charge until further notice.  If a licence has already been paid for it will be extended to cover the free period.” 

Offering outdoor or Al fresco dining to customers helps to increase seating capacity and provides an outside area in front of premises for customers.

To make an application, businesses will be asked for:
  • a site plan showing the location and dimensions of the area and its associated furniture
  • a valid insurance policy
  • premises licence (Licencing Act 2003) (where applicable)
Businesses intending to use the stall area on The Chester Rows will also have to carry out a risk assessment regarding railing height, electrical testing and recognition of safety issues caused by bad weather. There is no need to complete the application form if there is already a licence in place, unless any changes need to be made.  The licence will automatically have the free period added on.

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