Brinklow cafe forced to remove outdoor seating area after obstruction complaint

Christos Aristidou has had chairs outside his cafe for eight years with no complaints.
Christos Aristidou has had chairs outside his cafe for eight years with no complaints.

A popular cafe in Brinklow has been told to remove an outdoor seating area after a complaint was made to Warwickshire County Council.

Pumpkin’s Deli, which is in Broad Street and was the Advertiser’s Cafe of the Year in 2014, has been forced to take away its tables and chairs from the street after a member of the public raised fears they might be causing an obstruction.

Employees from the county council’s highways department visited the cafe last week and told staff they will need 
to apply for a licence in order to continue offering the 
outdoor seating area.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Pumpkin Deli’s disgruntled owner Christos Aristidou said: “Apparently, it could take between four to six weeks to get a licence – if it’s approved - so it’s not very good really.

“We’ve just come to the start of summer, which is when people will want to be sitting outside. If it takes six weeks, summer will be almost over.

“As a business owner in the village, you rely a lot on passing trade. We get lots of cyclists and dog walkers stopping by. There’s nowhere for them to go now.

“We’ve had the chairs out for eight years and it’s all been ruined because of one complaint. I just wish the person had come to speak to me before complaining.”

And he added: “Wheelchairs, double buggies and mobility scooters have always got through fine. It’s never been an issue before.”

A Warwickshire County Council spokesperson said: “We recognise that outdoor cafés make a vibrant contribution to our towns and are popular with local people.

“A licence is required if tables and chairs cover any part of the highway such as footways and most pedestrianised areas.

“We want to consider everyone and street café licences are there to ensure pedestrians aren’t obstructed, particularly the visually impaired and wheelchair users.

“Street café licences can be applied for through our website www.warwickshire.gov.uk/cafelicence”