Starbucks has resubmitted plans for an outdoor seating area at its café in Letchworth.

The popular coffee chain received permission from North Herts Council last year to open a new unit at 23 Leys Avenue, which opened several months ago.

Initially, the application included plans for an outdoor seating area, but this was removed before the council decided to grant permission for Starbucks to open.

Now, the café has submitted a second planning application, specifically asking permission to open an outdoor seating area.

As with the original plan, drawings suggest that around eight tables, seating two people each, could be placed outside the café if the application is approved. Its proposed location has moved slightly further away from the main entrance, with the aim of reducing its impact on pedestrians.

A document submitted as part of the application states: "Since the café has been in operation, it has been realised that external seating would be of great benefit to not only the café but the immediate surrounding public square hence the reason for this application.

"This seeks only to utilize the outdoor space immediately adjacent the unit for minimal outdoor seating."

The council officer who recommended that the first application be approved, stated in their report that the outdoor seating area had been removed "following consultation with [Starbucks'] agent" due to "concerns over amenity loss for residents and pedestrian congestion".


The officer continued: "In my view, seeing as the external seating element has been omitted from the scheme, the proposal is unlikely to generate adverse levels of overlooking/loss of privacy to nearby residents, as most patrons will be indoors when consuming goods sold on site which will limit views."

The report included a condition that external seating could not be used without further planning permission, "in order to ensure the safe movement of pedestrians in Leys Square close to the central fountain area".