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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Councillors refuse pavement café license for Carnlough pub

The Glencoy Inn Carnlough

An application for a pavement café licence at a Carnlough pub was refused on safety grounds by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee on Tuesday evening, 24th October.

A decision over the application by The Glencloy Inn had been deferred since last August.

A report to the committee said The Glencloy Inn made the application for an outdoor seating area at the premises at Bridge Street in the village.

The council has been promoting pavement cafés in response to the Covid pandemic and economic recovery. However, council officers proposed the licence is refused saying based on advice by Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads and PSNI, it is “not a suitable location for a pavement café as the lay-out and location are unsafe”.

The Licensing of Pavement Cafés Act requires any business wishing to place tables and chairs on the public footpath to have to have a pavement café licence from the local authority.

The report to the council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee says:

“The area that has been applied for in regard of The Glencloy Inn is not an actual pavement but part of the road along the front of the premises.

“The area of ground is part of a busy junction at the centre of Carnlough next to the A2 Coast Road.

“The matter was  deferred so further investigations could be carried out into ownership of the land to be used for the pavement café as this has a bearing on whether a licence is required.”

The report indicated that in February 2023, the business owner confirmed he did not own the area in question.

It was noted further discussion with DfI Roads has taken place over potential changes to the lay-out of the road to create a pavement and also the installation of bollards.

“The Licensing Team have been advised that neither option would be acceptable or are currently under consideration by DfI Roads and now wish to bring the matter of the outstanding application to a close.

“DfI Roads have replied to the consultation process stating that they do not consider that this location is suitable for a pavement café.”

The Department said:

“Having discussed the application with PSNI Roads Policing, we are both still of the opinion this is not a suitable location for a pavement café. There is no actual pavement – just adopted carriageway, therefore not even a kerb to protect users.

“I would have concerns over the potential for patrons to spill out of the small area on sunny days.”

It was also stated pedestrians would lose “a safe area” and would be “in the middle of a carriageway at a junction with limited sight splays”.

The officer’s report continued:

“Recent tragic incidents involving vehicles coming into contact with pedestrians, including Carrickfergus town centre and a pavement café in County Donegal, emphasise the need to ensure safety of the public is the priority in consideration of applications.

“Based on the advice of DfI Roads and PSNI and the assessment of the Licensing Team, it is not possible to recommend the grant of a pavement café licence application to this business operator/premises. It is not a suitable location for a pavement café as the lay-out and location are unsafe.”

As a result, the refusal of a pavement café licence was agreed by the committee.


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