Applications are open for simplified and cheaper permits to serve food and drinks on public highways within specified al fresco zones across the island.
The permits replace a system of businesses applying to the Royal Court for an al fresco licence by having Traffic & Highway Services consider them instead, provided the application falls within a designated zone.
Applicants will need to pay a £176 processing fee and an annual charge of between £3.50 and £5 of square feet used based on the level of footfall in the area. The proceeds will go to the States Property Unit to maintain the public land used.
Several areas in St. Peter Port and the Bridge have already been designated through public consultations and businesses in those areas are set to benefit from the new system.
Car parks and areas already occupied to capacity are not available for semi-permanent al fresco applications in this way. Additionally those looking to put out tables and chairs in undesignated areas will still have to apply through the courts.
More information and details on how to apply can be found HERE.
Pictured: Several deputies commended the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure for unexpectedly bringing the reforms to the States.
Members of the public can contact the States if they would like to suggest further locations to be designated as al fresco zones.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said: “Introducing al fresco permits will make it easier, quicker and cheaper for restaurants and other eateries to apply for al fresco dining.
“Al fresco dining is a great way to make the most of these spaces, whilst also giving businesses the opportunity to maximise the space available to them.”
Pictured: Areas marked in red are designated as al fresco zones.
Steve Le Poidevin, owner of Balthazar restaurant, congratulated the States of Guernsey “for bringing in positive changes for the community.
“We love the existing al fresco areas in St. Peter Port and St. Sampson - I feel they have struck the perfect balance of what can be delivered between Government and businesses.
“The demand for al fresco from locals and tourists is very strong and this demand can be met in a quick and cost-effective way.
Mr Le Poidevin thought that further investment could be directed into the planting and pavement surfaces to “allow easy access for everyone”.
However, Sergio Sorrento, owner of the neighbouring Sorrento restaurant, says limitations imposed on his al fresco area are “affecting business”.
He currently can serve six people outside but believes it could be doubled, but an area where additional tables could go were deemed to block a fire exit. He suggested this was not a restriction for some other establishments.
He also said that a concrete ramp on the edge of the pavement prevented proper drainage of rainwater, meaning his staff have to sweep it away in the mornings as it makes customers feel uncomfortable.
Mr Sorrento claimed the States have been made aware of these issues and have investigated modifying the concrete ramp.
He said business was especially good when cruise ships visit and on Seafront Sundays and welcomed the possibility of removing vehicle traffic away from the surface level of the Town Quay is a good idea: “It would be much appreciated if lanes were reduced on the Quay to extend the al fresco area”.
Pictured: The concrete which creates a pool of water next to the customers feet when it rains.
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