My fellow North Down Alliance Councillor Michael Bower and I have welcomed the announcement from the Social Development Minister that legislation will be introduced to enable street cafes on Town Centre pavements.
With people increasingly keen to dine or enjoy a coffee outside when the weather permits this legislation will hopefully enable businesses in Holywood and other Towns across Northern Ireland to finally operate within the law. The legislation will also provide some useful guidance to ensure pedestrians, especially the visually impaired and people with a disability, to safely use Town Centre pavements. I look forward to seeing the detailed proposals.
Commenting on the development, Cllr Bower stated "With alfresco dining increasingly popular when the weather allows this move will meet customer demands whilst helping businesses during these tough economic times. The Alliance Party has strongly lobbied for these new rules which will help clarify the situation and bring a sense of order for all concerned, whether they be pedestrians, customers and businesses. The legal situation concerning street cafes is currently a grey area with Roads Service tolerating rather than permitting chairs, tables and other similar furniture on pavements. I encourage prompt resolution of this situation via the promised legislation"