Policy changes could see charges spiral for Glasgow operators
In addition to licensing and roads consent (said to be £409 for city centre premises), a requirement to secure full planning permission could add a further £526 to fees.
Though planning permission has been included in the city’s outdoor policy for some time, the council has previously not enforced the stipulation. This could change as the council reviews its ‘outdoor cafe’ policy.
Licensees insist the planning fee would also incur lawyers’ and architects’ fees.
One Glasgow city centre operator said: “I feel sorry for the smaller publicans because they will be badly hit by this.
“It means additional architects’ fees and lawyers’ fees, it’s just ridiculous. The small guy who puts three or four tables outside his pub is getting done at every turn.”
Solicitor Stephen McGowan of TLT said: “Planning has always been a legal requirement but the roads department has for some years been happy to issue a permit without planning being in place. That has now changed.
“This will create cost and delay as businesses will require the services of an architect.”
Across Scotland council policies on outdoor seating vary. In Perth & Kinross a planning consent fee of £401 is required; in Edinburgh, a weekly pavement permit is necessary; Aberdeen City Council said planning is needed in certain locations; and Dundee council does not require planning permission for seasonal tables.
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Premises have always needed three things to operate outdoor seating: planning consent, roads consent and a licence. The council is giving consideration for a review (in 2016) of outdoor café policy – this would seek to better integrate the three permissions that any pavement café may require to hold. This should lead to a better experience as the policy is more clearly defined and enforced.”