NEWBURY Town Council has expressed concern over the placement of Jumbrellas – giant umbrellas – outside a Newbury patisserie, which it says are “dangerous”.
Meeson Williams Phillips submitted an application in March on behalf of newly opened-patisserie Paul to place six tables, 12 chairs, parasols, heaters and breeze screens outside its Parkway building.
The parasols to be placed at the café, which opened in March are Jumbrellas which vary in size, but are typically around 4m square for restaurants, according to manufacturers.
If West Berkshire Council approved the application, the outdoor seating area would cover 14sq m, with breeze screens less than 1m in height, and both the screens and parasols would bear the company branding.
Agent Meeson Williams Phillips, which submitted the application, said the outdoor seating would “result in the visual enhancement of the immediate area, adding to its vitality and viability. The enhancement of a commercial business in such an accessible location is sustainable development by definition.
“The outside seating area would also increase public scrutiny and therefore the public safety of pedestrians in Middle Street.”
However, councillors at a Newbury Town Council planning and highways committee meeting held on Monday were worried that the large structures would obstruct neighbouring shops and represented a safety hazard.
Councillor David Allen (Lib Dem, Victoria) said: “The neighbouring shop Fat Face has put in an objection because the Jumbrellas would hide their shop front – and I have a lot of sympathy with them. It’s a bit too much. These are big umbrellas. It’s not in keeping and would obstruct the next-door neighbour.”
Councillor Elizabeth O’Keeffe (Lib Dem, Victoria) agreed: “They are dangerous and an obstruction.”
The council will now write West Berkshire Council expressing its concerns.
Estate engineer Elliott Austrin, speaking on behalf of neighbouring shop Fat Face said: “We occupy the adjoining premises occupied by Paul and object to the proposed development.
“This is going to enclose our premises as we already have tables and chairs outside our unit on the adjoining side, block lines of sight to our brand and impede the flow of customers.
“We strongly object to its placement and don’t believe it’s essential for Paul to have tables and chairs to service their trade, and it merely serves to further clutter Middle Street.”
Paul UK has been approached for comment but had not responded by the time this report went to press.