It’s OK for Paris but not for Woodhall Spa

Woodhall Spa - The Broadway EMN-140526-121612001
Woodhall Spa - The Broadway EMN-140526-121612001

It’s one of the most popular features of Woodhall Spa, but it appears not everyone is a fan of the village’s Parisian style pavement cafe culture.

Local parish councillors are appealing to business owners not to abuse rules and regulations regarding outdoor signs and seating areas.

It follows a complaint from resident Robert Arlott, who claims he had an altercation with staff at one cafe over an ‘A’ sign on the pavement

Mr Arlott, speaking at a parish council meeting, said he used a walking frame and warned negotiating signs and tables and chairs was an increasing problem.

He told councillors: “When is a footpath not a footpath? Obviously, in Woodhall Spa.

“Some of businesses are obstructing the highway. Surely, that is an offence.”

Mr Arlott said he believed some traders had permission to site signs, tables and chairs on pavements, but only within one metre of their business.

He claimed some were flouting the rules and said tables at one cafe were two metres and 40 centimetres into the pavement with an A-board protruding even further.

Mr Arlott said he had taken issue with one cafe owner and tried to remove an A-board but was told put it back.

He added: “I wasn’t threatened but it was very close to it.”

Parish council chairman David Clarke said pavements were the responsibility of the County Council, which is in the process of drawing up new proposals to deal with any issues.

Coun Clarke stressed it was important to check which businesses in Woodhall had licences for outdoor seating areas.

He warned that if the County Council took any enforcement action, it would have to be against all businesses - and not just one.

District councillor Craig Leyland said a ‘cafe culture’ was an important part of Woodhall’s appeal.

He admitted supporting businesses and ensuring public safety was a “difficult balancing act.”