Council Opposition to Street Café at Bath Arms
New plans submitted by JD Wetherspoons to include a street café at the front of the Bath Arms were turned down by the Town Council’s Planning Advisory Committee on 19th May. Councillors have welcomed the new business to the town and are delighted to see it trading, but they expressed serious concerns about the proposed infringement onto the public highway. The café would be located at the point of the pelican crossing in the centre of Market Place, and the request for a permanent number of tables and chairs surrounded by a barrier would reduce the pavement space by at least one third, which may block access to the crossing. Permanent seating outside the establishment may also encourage the drinking of alcohol on the street.
Councillor Fraser voiced the additional concerns raised by Councillors about smokers sitting on the base of the Bath Arms’ large window that opens out onto the Market Place. She said ‘there is a garden at the rear of the building and a purpose-built designated smoking area, which should be adequate for the business’. The committee was unanimous in its objection to the street café.