May 28, 2022
Grass Market is one of the most popular outdoor dining areas in downtown Edinburgh. Photo: Lisa Ferguson

Expanded hospitality areas in the old and new towns are poised to return, despite heritage campaigners calling for a ban on “ad hoc decks, gazebos and shades” that allow businesses to view historic streets. Used to help protect.

The proposals, which will be seen as a major boost to efforts to revitalize the hospitality sector in the city center, will offer revitalization to businesses that plan to create a permanent outdoor area. Which was rejected last year.

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Concerns were also raised that allowing continental-style sidewalk cafes to operate on roads and sidewalks would effectively privatize public space, as well as affect neighboring businesses and residents.

Laila’s bistro on Cockburn Street was one of the businesses that could benefit from the comfort of the outdoor dining area.

A new report for the City Council suggests that temporary structures and outdoor seating are allowed to operate throughout the spring and summer, although some will have to make way when the summer holidays begin. Or smaller ones, including Royal Mile and George Street. .

Counselors are being recommended to adopt a relaxation procedure after the Scottish Government encouraged councils to help businesses operate outside. It announced last week that Cowade’s powers would be extended until the end of September.

The controversy erupted in the fall when businesses that the city council had allowed to operate outlying areas until October were advised to seek planning permission if they wanted to retain any of them.

The Cockburn Association Heritage Group opposed requests from businesses on Royal Mile, Victoria Street, Grass Market, Cockburn Street and Elm Road, saying the proposals would include “semi-privatization of public space”.

The group told the council: “Basically, the streets are open spaces with the city. The proposed use as an outdoor extension of a pub or restaurant is not a public use, although we can appreciate the atmosphere and vibe that a caf has.” Culture can bring areas.

“Any of the Alfresco drinking and food establishments that have emerged in recent months and are expanding into the city center can be said to maintain and enhance the role of the city center.”

Council Planning Convenor Neil Gardner said: “We appreciate how difficult it has been for businesses, especially the hospitality sector, during epidemics, and we’ve offered a lot of support to the industry since last March. Is.

“This includes greater flexibility in allowing businesses to provide additional temporary infrastructure to their customers with a relaxed approach to epidemic planning, in line with Scottish Government guidelines. The government’s suggestion is that this approach should end in September. “

Rudy Smith, chief executive of City Center Business Group Essential Edinburgh, said: Meet the needs of residents and tourists.

“George Street allows access to the inner lane of the parking lot so that pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists are not harmed.”

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