New outdoor dining spaces for Sleaford market place will ‘rejuvenate town centre’

Proposed outdoor dinning spaces in Sleaford’s market square will help to rejuvenate and reinvent the town centre, council officers have said.

A view of the Market Place in Sleaford where the outdoor dining areas are proposed. Photo: Google.
A view of the Market Place in Sleaford where the outdoor dining areas are proposed. Photo: Google.

They have recommended two restaurants’ outdoor seating areas are given permission to help boost trade within the town.

The Burger Lounge and The Solo Bar & Restaurant have requested permission to expand their seating into the town’s Market Place.

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The space is currently used as an ad hoc car park, but there are hopes the dining areas will take greater advantage of the square.

The spaces will be located outside of the restaurants, each measuring 9m by 3m, and will ensure there is enough room for the market to continue.

North Kesteven District Council has pointed to the success of the nearby Sessions House’s outdoor space, saying it has helped to “revitalise this part of the Market Place”.

It says: “Outdoor seating at some cafés and the staging of the ‘Welcome Back Fund’ event post-pandemic has shown what can be achieved, and that this attractive space has far more to offer residents and visitors than simply car parking or the ‘legacy’ market, which has struggled to remain viable as shopping habits have changed.”

Both restaurants expect to take on another two part-time staff as a result, and will operate the areas 9am to 11pm subject a licence.

However, not everyone is happy about the application.

Burton & Co solicitors, which occupies the space between the restaurants, has complained that the application will restrict customers’ access and have a detrimental impact on their business.

However, council officers say it is unlikely to be affected, and the business will benefit from greater passing trade.

A report into the application concludes: “The proposals are considered to be an important element of rejuvenating and reinventing Sleaford’s town centre to allow multi-purpose visits to support its vitality and viability in a manner that will not only support expansion of the businesses directly affected but will more generally support trade within the town.”

The planning committee will decide on the two outdoor dining schemes at their next meeting on Tuesday, June 7 at their Sleaford headquarters.