Pub boss to appeal after outdoor seating at Navigation Point bars knocked back by councillors

A marina landlord says he has launched an appeal after councillors turned down permission to allow outside seating in car parking spaces.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 6:40 am
Seating outside units 30-34 Navigation Point at Hartlepool marina

Joe Darragh of The Mandale Group applied to Hartlepool Borough Council for approval for outdoor seating already in place in front of five premises on Navigation Point.

But the council’s planning committee rejected the application on the grounds of the loss of car parking spaces and potential disturbance after closing hours to residents who live in flats above the bars and restaurants.

A council report stated: “The works have included the infilling of 10 car parking bays (an area of approximately 24m x 5m), the relocation of the curb line and the provision of hard standing to sit flush with the existing pavement level.”

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Planning committee member Councillor Ray Martin-Wells said: “My concern will be this would be the thin end of the wedge and we would probably loose the entire frontage of all of the units down the marina which would have an impact later on.
“Already people do spill out from the pubs into these areas. If there’s lots and lots of seating out there I just think it will be harder to keep the noise down for the residents who live above them.

“I don’t want to do anything that would curtail a successful business at the marina, far from that.

“I believe that they only are busy a few nights a week and they need to take all of their income on those times, but I can’t in all honesty support this.”

The applicants told the councillors the seating has been in place for around a year without any significant problems.

They added the loss of 10 spaces represented only 3.5% of that in the area.

Councillors rejected the application by six votes to one.

Mr Darragh said Mandale has launched an appeal against the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

He said: “They are just stopping businesses from getting on.

“The car park is never full. Why on earth they would stop three bars and two restaurants from people sitting outside is beyond me.

“It’s absolutely crazy. We are trying to get people to spend money in Hartlepool, and when bars create an area where you can go on a lovely summer’s day and sit out for a nice meal and a few beers the council are saying ‘no you can’t do that, you’ve got to sit inside.”