Petition against seating outside Waterstones in Lewes

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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Have your say

A bid to create an outdoor seating area for the cafe at Waterstones in Lewes is causing quite a stir.

Residents have submitted a petition with 42 signatures objecting to the proposal.

Reasons cited by objectors include negative impact on local businesses, encroachment on a pedestrian area, detraction from character of the Grade II listed building and difficulties for disabled people due to the cobbled section of the Cliffe precinct.

A further ten letters of objection have been received by Lewes District Council.

Lewes Town Council is also against the scheme which it said would impact on local businesses, especially small independent traders, encroach on a disabled parking bay and impede the free passage of pedestrians and impact on the listed building, which dates from the mid 19th century.

Waterstones is based at number 220 and 221 High Street.

Lewes Conservation Area Advisory Group also supported the scheme, adding it would bring vitality to the area, contribute to the economy and attract visitors.

Lewes District Council’s planning committee will have the final say.

Its planning officers are currently recommending the scheme for approval, arguing it will add to the vitality of the area, enhance the conservation area and said while there were other cafes in the Cliffe precinct and the High Street, these were busy popular retail areas.

A report to the council by officers also said there would be enough room for pedestrians and wheelchair users to pass unimpeded.