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Councillors speak out over Caffe Nero's new seating area
Chippenham town councillors spoke out against Caffe Nero’s outside seating area at last night (Thursday’s) planning and environment committee.
The coffee shop, which opened in Borough Parade two weeks ago despite not having yet applied for planning permission, has attracted criticism from independent traders and the president of the Wessex Chamber of Commerce, Rob Perks.
Coun John Scragg, who chaired the meeting, said: “It does show some disrespect for the laws and rules [that the cafe has opened without planning permission].
“I am concerned about the extent to which tables and chairs have extended beyond the cafe itself. Many are now in the central plaza in Borough Parade. I think we should consider writing to the management about this.”
Coun Nina Phillips said she had already complained to the management about the issue.
“Because it was just me complaining alone, it didn’t go anywhere, but I think we certainly ought to send a letter,” she said.
However, Coun David Powell said he was unwilling to take action against the chain.
“When planning permission has been denied, they have appealed 17 times and won all but one of those,” he said.
“If we take the decision to fight against it, it will be at the tax payers’ expense.”