A decision is set to be made this week on plans for a restaurant in Stevenage High Street to get rid of four free parking bays, to make way for a permanent seating area.

Cinnabar's plans have been met with mixed reaction, with Stevenage Borough Council receiving 73 letters of objection and 53 letters of support.

Those objecting to the plans have raised concerns around the loss of parking.

Those in support have said the seating area will be popular, and is a more effective use of the area.

A decision had been set to be made by the council's Planning and Development Committee in October, but this was deferred while clarity was sought on the implications of the newly adopted Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023, in terms of the issuance of licences for outdoor seating on pavements.

At a meeting on Thursday, the committee will only be concerned with the proposed engineering works - the removal of four on-street parking bays, and construction of a widened public footpath.

A pavement licence, permitting outdoor seating and the required change of use of the land, will need to be applied for separately by Cinnabar.

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The council's planning officer has recommended that permission is granted for the removal of the parking bays and widening of the footpath.

He said: "Given the proposal would only result in the loss of four bays, the location is highly sustainable and there is a good level of alternative parking in close proximity of the site, it is considered the loss of the parking spaces is acceptable in this instance in this location."