Glasgow City Council today (10 March) considered a new temporary street café policy for the city centre.
The draft policy comes from the City Centre Strategy, which has – as a core objective – the aim of attracting people to the city centre by optimising trading hours, improving the visitor experience and linking to other leisure activities.
In recent years, Glasgow city centre has seen growth in the number of restaurants, bars and cafes, adding value to the city centre experience and supporting the area’s retail and other sectors. As a result of this growth, many more outdoor areas – in the form of temporary street cafes – have opened.
The new policy responds to the concerns of local communities and businesses – including the application process being too onerous, cleanliness issues, opening hours not being long enough, and occupation of pavements and other spaces – by proposing a two-year trial of a new process.
This process – whose overall objective is to encourage operators to act as good neighbours, improving the overall experience of street cafes for everyone – features:
- Fewer steps required for applicants
- Changed fee structure to a square metre rate, rather than a flat rate
- Clarified operating standards
- An improved enforcement process
Councillor Greg Hepburn, Chair of the Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm Committee at Glasgow City Council, said: “Our new street café policy is a huge positive for Glasgow City Centre, matching the city’s ambitions as a major European city and making the area more attractive for Glaswegians, visitors and investors. The policy will also bring benefits to our retail outlets, leisure facilities and cultural scene, bringing even more life to our major streets and avenues. Importantly, the proposals also ensure that the needs of city centre residents are taken into account, so that any particular concerns can be addressed and the street cafes can benefit everyone.”
The draft policy will now go to the council’s City Administration Committee later this month, when a decision will be made on whether to proceed to public consultation, before returning for a final decision on the adoption of the policy.