Councillors give all-clear to supermarket’s plan to set up tables and chairs outside store

Waitrose, Huntingdon,

Waitrose, Huntingdon, - Credit: Archant

A supermarket’s plans to set up tables and chairs for customers outside its premises were given the green light by councillors on Monday night, despite fears that doing so might block the highway for pedestrians.

Waitrose, in Huntingdon’s St Benedict’s Court, submitted an application to the district council earlier this year to place tables, chairs and associated signage outside the supermarket.

But, due to Huntingdon Town Council’s recommendation to refuse the proposal over “fears the furniture would obstruct the highway for shoppers” it was put before members of the district council’s development management panel.

Councillors were told, by planning officer Dallas Owens, that the national chain had already sought permission from Cambridgeshire County Council highways department due to the chairs being placed on a public highway.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor Jason Ablewhite said: “Where are Huntingdon Town Council? Their refusal is absolutely ridiculous. We have got better things to do with our time.”

Members agreed unanimously to approve the seating that will allow customers of the supermarket to buy food and drink from within the store and then consume in the designated area.

Within the plans submitted 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.

Most Read

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

As a part of the approval there were conditions imposed including a time limit along with a notion that the seating will only be out during opening hours.