Causeway Coast & Glens council were due to ensure that from 1 April 2020 businesses were complying with the Planning Act (NI) 2011 and The Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (NI) 2015 in regard to the operation of pavement cafes and the requirement to obtain a licence under the Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act (NI) 2014.
It, however, has now been deferred a local Councillor has said until the Coronavirus pandemic is over.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor William McCandless said “On Monday evening the Prime Minister ‘pulled down the shutters’ as he announced the closure of all non-essential shops with immediate effect with only essential stores:- Food outlets, Pharmacies, Petrol Stations, Post Offices, Newsagents and banks also to remain open.
Coronavirus is laying waste to the High Street and the knock-on effect of cancellation of orders to suppliers in the fashion retail and other outlets will be devastating. With closures of shops and factories the economy will certainly contract and it is all dependent on how quickly we can get to grips with the problem.
Any measures which can be given to alleviate the economic pressure for our hard-pressed retailers is to be welcomed. Last week I posed questions to our Chief Executive David Jackson regarding Pavement Cafe Licensing.
Licensing was due to come into effect on 1st April but I have received confirmation from the Chief Executive today that this will not be actioned and will be deferred until this crisis is over. I appreciate that there will be no requirement for sipping your skinny latte outside your favourite cafe in the coming weeks, but at least it is an expense that won’t be incurred for cafes.
Hopefully, this will ease some financial worry for local traders.”