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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 24/04/2002
Supplementary Planning Guidance - Street Cafes and Placing of Tables and Chairs on the Highway

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[Wards Affected: All Wards]

Summary and Purpose

The purpose of this report is to report on the response to the Consultation Process and to consider the adoption of the Advice Note set out as Annexe 1 as Supplementary Planning Guidance.

There are no material resource, human rights or opportunities for all implications arising from this report. The environmental and community safety issues are set out in the report.


1. A draft Advice note (attached at Annexe 1) on the issue of placing tables and chairs on the highway was originally considered by the Environment and Planning Committee in July 2000. It was considered that such guidance was necessary as this practice requires both planning permission as a material change of use and a Highway licence from the Surrey County Council, since otherwise there is an unauthorised obstruction of the highway.

2. In order to simplify procedures and assist business applicants in submitting the necessary applications it was considered appropriate to adopt a single application procedure. Such an application would be submitted as a joint Planning and Highway licence application to Waverley.

3. To enable a joint approach with single applications to both authorities, a partnership between Surrey County Council and Waverley must be formalised, and the manner in which this would operate was described in the draft advice note. It was proposed that details of the partnership responsibilities would be negotiated by County and Waverley Officers.

4. The draft Advice Note was prepared as part of a multi-disciplinary approach and there was initial co-operation in its drafting between Surrey Police, Surrey County Council Highways, Environmental Health and Leisure. A similar procedure and policy has been adopted by Guildford Borough Council and other Local Authorities in the country.

5. The draft note was approved by Members and used as a document for consultation, with the following organisations:-

1) Surrey County Council
2) Surrey Police
3) Parish and Town Councils
4) Business Forum
5) Chambers of Trade
6) DisCASS
7) Licensed Victuallers Association
8) Amenity Societies


6. The responses received as a result of the consultation have all been positive and support the approach taken in the guidance. There have been no suggestions from any consultees, which have required any changes.

7. Surrey County Council as Highway Authority is satisfied that all comments made during the drafting of the Advice Note have been included.

8. Surrey Police Authority
The crime officer from Surrey Police was also involved in the drafting of the advice note. The main concern of the Police Authority was the need to clearly delineate the difference between private frontage and public footpath, in order that misplaced tables and chairs could be dealt with. This issue has been addressed in the Advice Note in paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3.

9. Surrey Police do not believe that the proposals will cause it any specific concerns, but would be keen to ensure that the County Council, as the authority issuing the licences to use the highway land is robust in regularly reviewing specific premises, should future developments as a result of a licence being granted, cause the Police or the public any concerns.

10. Godalming Town Council supports the proposal for co-operation between Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council, which should ensure better control of the use of the pavement in the interests of both pedestrians and traders. It considers it of particular importance to physically delineate the agreed seating area on site. It is concerned about the hazards of ‘illegally parked cars’ in the Town centre.

11. The Godalming Trust supports the content of the Advice Note. It emphasises that this development must be controlled so that pedestrians are not unduly inconvenienced, but is satisfied that the Advice Note achieves the balance between businesses and pedestrians. It hopes that the Guidance will be enforced in a manner, which is sympathetic to both groups. The Trust does have a safety concern about ‘careless and illegal parking’, which already occurs in the vicinity of the outdoor tables which can put users at risk, and hopes that there will be more enforcement of traffic and parking regulations to alleviate this problem.

12. The Waverley Business Forum agrees that there is the need for control, and is in favour of the café society, but accepts that care needs to be taken to ensure that neighbours etc are not inconvenienced.

13. The Godalming Town Centre Group supports the joint approach. It comments that it may result in the erection of temporary screens and awnings to protect the eating areas from the weather, and suggest that there should be guidance included about materials for such screening and any additional lighting and heating provision.

14. Haslemere Initiative considers that the guidance will simplify consent to use the highway in this way, and is to be welcomed.

15. Farnham Town Council commends the efforts of Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council in endeavouring to adopt a single application procedure, to be substituted as a joint Planning and Highway Licence application to Waverley Borough Council and suggest that the application form be kept as simple as possible to encourage use of the facility.

Community Safety Implications

16. The following factors have been identified in relation to the impact of this report as part of the Section 17 requirements of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998:-

The balancing of the promotion of a ‘café society’ to enhance the local community against potential crime and disorder issues relating to public order and public nuisance have been carefully considered. The Police have requested regular and robust enforcement to tackle problems.


17. As there have been no suggestions for any changes to the original Draft Advice Note, it is recommended that the draft attached at Annexe 1 be forwarded to the Executive for adoption together with any comments this committee may wish to add.

Background Papers (DoP&D)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


Name: Jennie Falconer Telephone: 01483 523294
E-mail: jfalconer@waverley.gov.uk