Stamford’s Cafe Black owners agree to meet with Lincolnshire County Council

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A COUNCIL has agreed to hold talks with the owners of a cafe to try to resolve a row about outdoor seating.

Cafe Black’s licence for street furniture ran out on Sunday after the business repeatedly breached the conditions imposed by Lincolnshire County Council.

Owners Hannah Darby and Jim Harding were told that if chairs and tables were placed on the pavement ioutside the cafe in High Street, Stamford from Monday the council would remove them as the cafe would be trading illegally.

But council officials have since invited the owners to meet and discuss the situation.

Miss Darby said: “The management, staff and customers of Cafe Black are pleased that a meeting will take place with Licolnshire County Council highways division within the next few weeks.

“We all look forward to a positive outcome at this meeting that allows the staff to remain in full employment and the customers, be it our disabled customers, dog walkers or families just trying to enjoy the sun can do so unhindered.”

The licence gave permission for the seating to be placed outside between 10am and 4pm. However the seats were often there outside those hours. Market traders set up much earlier than 10am, but they are covered by a different licence granted by South Kesteven District Council. The county council refused to renew the independent business’s pavement cafe licence because of the repeated breaches over the last year.

Retrospective applications for the outdoor seating area and a shop front canopy were submitted in October 2009.

The pavement cafe licence was granted in June last year, but planning permission for the canopy was refused.

The cafe was also told to remove a £10,000 ice cream cabinet from the pavement by the county council as it was not covered by the licence.

Miss Darby said the outside seating was fundamental to her business, and she would lose a significant amount of trade if the chairs and tables were removed.

No date has been set for the meeting as county council division highways manager Brian Thompson is on annual leave.