Swansea businesses to benefit from swifter outdoor trading decisions

Swansea Council is working on plans to offer hospitality businesses around the city the chance to do more business outdoors.

This could see more of them expanding to set up café and bar operations on existing paved areas and others setting up new collective outdoor seating areas.

Restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs could be among those to benefit.

The plan, a response to the pandemic and social distancing measures, aims to make the permissions process simpler, swifter and less costly for businesses whilst helping keep anti-social behaviour in check.

The needs of those with disabilities, other pedestrians, local residents and road safety would be considered along with the council’s wish to control littering.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We want to help business bounce back – and we want to offer more safe opportunities for the public to enjoy post-lockdown life in line with government regulations and guidelines.

“Our plan to make the processes of getting the consents for hospitality businesses to trade on paved areas and other outdoor locations will do that.

“A number of council departments are working closely with businesses and agencies such as the police to move this plan forward.

“When any business comes to us we will listen carefully and consider their ideas whilst paying close attention to the law, government guidelines and local needs.”

The pandemic has brought a demand from Swansea hospitality businesses for a relaxation of planning and licensing processes for permitting outdoor trading, including the use of tables and chairs on land next to premises and the creation of new mobile trading facilities.

The new processes being developed would make it simpler for business. They would also be efficiently and carefully managed by the council, with close focuses on allowing existing businesses to thrive, minimising anti-social behaviour, hearing objections and retaining clarity in decision making.

Licensing officers are on hand to provide advice on new processes and to liaise with the police.

As well as more trading outside premises, there is the opportunity for the development of “streeteries” where larger areas are used in a communal way by businesses for outdoor seating and dining.

It would be for the collective businesses to come forward and – as with other outdoor trading – manage such areas and ensure social distancing, cleaning and acceptable behaviour. Businesses would put insurance and risk assessment measures in place.

Mumbles Community Council is already planning for an outside eating and drinking area in Southend Gardens.

Any businesses that approach the council regarding a street trading consent – such as for sites on the seafront – will be dealt with as quickly and appropriately as possible.

Businesses licensed to sell alcohol would have to comply with relevant national legislation.