Tables and Chairs on the Highway Outside Cambridge Guildhall

Sunday, July 16th, 2017. 6:56pm

I have just made the following consultation response to Cambridgeshire County Council. As there doesn’t appear to be an online system for these consultations which publishes public responses I thought I’d publish my contribution here:

I am writing to comment on application PL0044 for the renewal of the arrangement allowing the placing of chairs and tables on the highway on Peas Hill outside Cambridge Guildhall.

I have not been able to find details of the proposal on Cambridgeshire County Council’s website. I would like to see full details of these applications online. I would have liked to see the the detailed proposal, including any existing and proposed conditions and fees, hours of operation, any lighting and heating arrangements, etc.

I think the existing arrangement where the chairs and tables are separated from the other areas of the pavement with the posts and banners works well and continuing that kind of arrangement should be a condition of any renewed permission.

I note currently there are many advertising “A” boards around the tables and chairs, including some part in, and part out, of the area containing the tables and chairs. Photographs of the current arrangement can be seen at:

I suggest making compliance with the new Cambridge City Council policy on A boards a condition of any approval. If that’s not possible then at least informing the applicants of the City Council policy (and the arrangement the County Council has come to with the City Council in relation to that policy) would be useful.

Currently I think there are an excessive number of obstructive A-boards associated with the tables and chairs in this location.

This is merely a comment, not an objection.


Richard Taylor

3 comments/updates on “Tables and Chairs on the Highway Outside Cambridge Guildhall

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    The County Council have responded to my comments. I was expecting something like “thank you for your comments, we will take them into account when deciding on the application”; what I got was:

    Dear Mr Taylor,

    It is not a requirement of us to place such details online especially when a lot of the details you have referenced are commercially sensitive. All the relevant information pertaining to pavement licence applications can be found on the erected site notices. General information about pavement licences can be found on our website at:

    Please note that Cambridgeshire County Council is aware of the problem of furniture sprawl and following meetings with various disability groups, we have seen how the use of barriers helps reduce this issue. We are currently in the process of updating our policy so that barriers are required with all licences but this policy is subject to member approval so we will not be able to implement this just yet.

    Cambridgeshire County Council do make it very clear to applicants that A boards are not allowed outside their licence area and that if they wish to place such boards outside their area they need to contact the City Council.

    Kind regards,

    Stephen Marshall

    Technical Administrator
    Policy & Regulation
    Highways Service
    Cambridgeshire County Council

    1. Richard Taylor Article author

      I note furniture sprawl is just one problem the barriers help reduce; the barriers also make it less likely people will walk into the chairs and tables.

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