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Trailblazer brings al fresco dining to the Bridge

Trailblazer brings al fresco dining to the Bridge

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Trailblazer brings al fresco dining to the Bridge

Tuesday 29 March 2022

A business owner has won a lengthy battle to secure the right to establish one of the first al fresco dining areas on the Bridge.

Vijay Wiltshire, who owns the Roll Bar, says he spent more than six months and £5,000 to get approval to erect three tables and chairs set up outside his shop.

Mr Wiltshire is critical of the hoops he says he was made to jump through and of St Sampson's Douzaine for allegedly not engaging with him during the whole process.

“The constables in their report to us said they didn’t want to set a precedent for anyone to have al fresco on the Bridge,” he said.

“It cost me £5,000 to get three tables and chairs put outside, in terms of architect fees and legal bills. It was really frustrating.

“We’re trying to do something different on the Bridge. They [the States] are giving carte blanche to St Peter Port [but] we’re trying to revitalise the Bridge.

"Why do we need to go through this archaic system – why can’t we just crack on and do it?"

In response, St Sampson's Douzaine said: “The Douzaine is very much in favour of al fresco dining when planned properly.  

“As the upcoming Policy Letter on this comes from the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, we can be confident that future al fresco dining will be properly planned.”


Pictured: “I’ve managed to achieve al fresco on the Bridge - the first one I believe outside of St Peter Port,” said Mr Wiltshire.

Mr Wiltshire secured approval as the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure announced a potential streamlining of the application process for al fresco dining.  

At the moment, businesses can apply to the Royal Court for licences to allow al fresco dining on specific areas of land. Under the proposed changes, the Committee would designate 'al fresco zones' within which the Committee, rather than the Royal Court, would grant permits for al fresco dining. 

It is not yet known where these specific areas of land will be.


Pictured: The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure hopes to encourage more al fresco dining.

Mr Wiltshire hopes that his success will bring about further change at the Bridge.

“We’ve set a precedent here: anyone can get al fresco on the Bridge now, which is great, it’s what we need as it makes the place more welcoming," he said.

"I hope to encourage other business owners to follow my lead.

“Allow everyone to put some tables and chairs outside their shop.

"Why do we have to go to court and engage with lawyers? This is a straightforward thing that happens all around the world.”


Al fresco applications could be simplified

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