Councillors’ fears over Huntingdon supermarket’s outdoor seating plan

Huntingdon Town Hall, home of the town council.

Huntingdon Town Hall, home of the town council. - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon supermarket’s plan to bring an al fresco feel to its premises will go before councillors on Monday.

Waitrose, in St Benedict’s Court, has submitted an application to Huntingdonshire District Council to place tables, chairs and associated signage outside the supermarket.

But Huntingdon Town Council has called for the plans to be refused because of fears the furniture would obstruct the highway for shoppers.

Within plans submitted to the district council, the company stated: “The new outdoor seating is proposed to provide customers the on-site amenity to consume takeaway food or drink which has been bought in-store.

“The outdoor seating will be available during standard store trading hours after which time all furniture will be removed and stored within the premises.”

Despite the application being given the go ahead by Cambridgeshire County Council highways department and transport at the district council it was recommended for refusal by town council members.

A spokesman for the town council said: “Members liked the idea but felt it would cause an obstruction at a main entrance to the town centre, and force pedestrians to the other side of the pathway.”

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The application will now be decided by the district council’s development management panel.

Planning officer Karina Adams has recommended that the application be approved.

In a report to district councillors, Ms Adams said: “The seating area is modest in size and will introduce a more vibrant character to the street.

“A condition would be imposed to ensure that the tables and chairs are removed at the end of each day.”.