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Concerns raised over new Gourmet Burger Kitchen

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Newbury Town Council warn of access issues for disabled people

NEWBURY town councillors have raised concerns over both the design and outdoor seating arrangements at a new burger restaurant proposed for the Market Place.

Restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen has submitted an application for the building formerly occupied by Hoggit & Hoof.

At a planning meeting held at the town hall on Monday, councillors called into question the proposals and warned that they could cause problems for disabled people.

Elizabeth O’Keeffe (Lib Dem, Victoria) said: “There is additional seating around the Market Place and it is a great idea.

“But what has been brought to my attention quite a few times by disabled people, particularly by people who are partially-sighted or use guide dogs, is what they require is a continuous line of something to follow.

“When there is seating in the way it becomes very difficult and we should take their needs into consideration.”

Councillors warned that such outdoor “creep” led to a sprawl of tables and chairs which blocked easy access from the street to the restaurant.

Tony Stretton (Con, Clay Hill) said: “I think the creeping out part is when groups of people group their chairs together and they creep out.

“So then they are a bit away from where they should be.”

Lynne Doherty (Con, North-croft) said: “It does seem to be an issue for disabled people and patrons because they are having to step out into the road.”

She went on to question whether a condition could be imposed on the timings of outdoor seating, given that traffic is permitted to pass along Market Place at certain times.

Councillors ultimately voted not to object to the seating element of the application and of the proposed signage but to object to its design arguing it was “not in keeping with a conservation area”.

The application will be determined by West Berkshire Council at a later date.

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