Permanent parking loss if outdoor seating plans approved

Seating area outside Cinnabar in Stevenage High Street

Cinnabar in Stevenage High Street was granted temporary permission for outdoor seating on parking bays in Bell Lane - Credit: Louise McEvoy

A high street restaurant is seeking permission to create a permanent outdoor seating area which, if given the green light, will result in the loss of four parking bays.

Cinnabar in Stevenage High Street - at the junction with Bell Lane - has submitted a planning application to Stevenage Borough Council seeking permission to get rid of three parking bays on the Bell Lane side of the building and construct a "seating area structure" to accommodate up to 10 tables.

The structure - 14.95 metres long and 1.9 metres wide - will be "a wooden framework with black trellis screens, zip awnings and a poly carb roof," the application says.

Cinnabar is also proposing to build out the pavement on both the High Street and Bell Lane frontages "to accommodate the structure on the Bell Lane side and to improve passage for pedestrians on both sides".

It says there will be 1.5m of clear passage for pedestrians along Bell Lane, following construction of the structure.

Finally, Cinnabar is seeking permission to install three awnings - one on the Bell Lane frontage and two on the High Street frontage.

As part of the application, a design and access statement says: "During the pandemic, the premises obtained a tables and chairs licence for the Bell Lane frontage which have proved to be a popular addition, and which have operated without any detriment to the amenity of the local environment.

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"The pavement build-out will involve the loss of four parking spaces - three on Bell Lane and one on the High Street. This part of Stevenage is well-served for parking and the loss is not significant.

"The removal of the High Street parking space is to enable easier use of a disabled parking bay opposite.

"The development is small in scale, marginally expanding an existing high street use, and will add to the interest and activity within the High Street shopping area."

Hospitality venues in Stevenage's High Street - including Cinnabar, Angelique and Misya Meze & Grill - were granted temporary permission to create seating areas on parking bays outside their premises during the pandemic. Misya's bid for permanent permission failed in June last year. A second application submitted in February is awaiting decision.