Outdoor seating at Waterstones cafe in Lewes given go ahead

As it was. The old Mayo Wynne Bxter building before it became Waterstones in Lewes. Photo by Peter Cripps
As it was. The old Mayo Wynne Bxter building before it became Waterstones in Lewes. Photo by Peter Cripps
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An outdoor seating area at Waterstones in Lewes was given the green light this week by Lewes District Council’s planning committee.

The pavement outside the book shop in Cliffe Shopping Precinct will be used for seating to serve the cafe based inside Waterstones.

A total of ten letters of objection were received, as well as a petition with 42 names.

Concerns raised included the negative impact on local businesses, using the pedestrian area, creating difficulties for disabled people due to the cobbled section, loss of space for the Farmers’ Market and the negative impact on the Grade II listed building housing Waterstones.

Lewes Town Council was also against the scheme, objecting on the grounds of the impact on local businesses, especially small independent traders, as well as other reasons.

But the district council’s planning committee which met on Wednesday October 29 at County Hall in Lewes approved the scheme, going with the planning officers’ recommendations.

In the report to the council, planning officers said the outdoor seating would enhance the vitality and viability of this town centre location.

It would also provided added interest in the Conservation Area, they said.

The outdoor seating will be permitted from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 4.30pm on Sundays.

The Friends of Lewes supported the plans but asked that the tables and chairs were not put out during the regular Lewes Farmers’ Markets which take place in Cliffe Shopping Precinct.