Complaint about tables on the pavement outside cafes

Not trying to be negative but sometimes it has to be addressed…
It seem Grounds Grapes do not have permission to hog the pavement with extending your tables and chairs.
This is a public footpath and it’s not owned by you to action this sorry to say!!
I tried to speak to someone a few times at Grounds Grapes someone said it was down to his boss.
This is unfair and out of line the council have been made aware and its being chased up. This applies to all shops on any high street.

*****Please don’t assume I want the business or another business to do badly I don’t.
I get people need to make a living and by finding ways to do this shows creativity. But sometimes the lines get crossed or blurred in the excitement and lack of surroundings get overlooked.
Busy or not this is obstruction of a public pavement.
Maybe a bigger venue is required to accommodate a service doing very well.

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It’d be a good idea for the council to turn the car parking spaces on honour oak high street into the footpath, thereby creating space for business to use the pavement, or vice versa.
This may be an old image but surely there is space for some tables as well as pedestrians if the cars were just moved.


Do you know that they don’t have permission? You can apply for a pavement license via Lewisham council that would permit this and I’d surprised if they didn’t have one. I seem to recall you making a similar complaint about this last year so clearly a topic you’re very concerned about. Have you raised with the council?
I walk past Grounds & Grapes several times a day and haven’t experienced or witnessed any issues with being able to get by.
Do be mindful that being able to operate at reasonable capacity outside could be the difference between staying afloat or going under at the moment.


I think the issue will be they cannot serve anyone indoors, so need to maximise outdoor space. License or not, if there is still room for people in wheelchairs, those with prams etc to get past I’d be happy for them to keep their outside space.

Is there no room for get past in these situations?


By allowing (or more accurately insisting) that bars and restaurants open outside only, then encroachments on pavements become very likely, given many businesses simply need to trade to survive. It would have been better in my view to have allowed indoors and outdoors to open at same time (even if that meant a delay).


Honor oak is a busy road. Sadly this idea wouldn’t really work shame. Each food or drink place should have stud markings to show how far out they can go without breaching. Thanks for responding back a sharing.

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Thanks for responding back understandable when it’s not busy this point doesn’t help.
But when it does and it has caused issues sadly. I and a few others did witness this last year.

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Thank you so much for responding so true it has been tough all round. It is tricky situation but still a public footpath despite it being busy or not if action is not taken then anyone can do what they like when. This then will become or can become a bigger issue.
Not everyone will witness everything all of the time or appreciate and be understanding.

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This just doesn’t look like an issue to me…


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Looks fine to me too, also last time I was in the area I saw that there was a pavement on the other side of the road too…

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I’m quite excited they are finally open again - I’ve been wanting to try their coffee for months!!


As a taxpayer, personally, I’d rather not pay for the delay in reducing furlough costs that that would imply.

I would have thought this easy to find on, but 15+ minutes of looking suggests otherwise (I didn’t find ANY indication there is a record of pavement licenses for ANY businesses on their site)


Westminster City Council have closed several roads in order to make space for outdoor restaurants. I think it looks very pleasant. Much better than the pubs where their customers take up all the pavement and force pedestrians into the road.


Yes there are a few nice examples around. Parts of Brick Lane were also pedestrianised, as was Northcote Road and Bedford Hill.

But if it’s not possible to fully pedestrianise a street there are other examples of pavement widening that could work for HOP to allow hospitality to trade outdoors.


This is borough high street.

Lordship Lane has also been widened in parts by some less fancy regular orange plastic barriers which while not pretty could be a good temporary fix because indoor trading is set to commence in a few weeks anyway.

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It seemed fine to me yesterday too, the bigger issue I have have with pavement space is further up the road, where cars are given priority over pedestrians, making it unusable for people with prams, and I presume those with mobility issues too.

I can’t get my head around it as most of the houses up there have driveways and there is parking for the cemetery too. I wrote to the council recently to see if they can do anything, we shall see!


Wheelie bins too! Our Council has a lot to answer to. Far too much pavement clutter and the pavements are in a dangerous state of disrepair too, making it really hazardous for those with sensory or mobility issues.

Part of the trouble with pavement cafes is that when people are seated, they don’t stay nailed to the spot. They have buggies and dogs and staff come to the tables to take orders and deliver food. So imagine trying to run the gauntlet of that if you can’t see or can’t walk unaided.


Yes! The combo of wheelybins and cars up there is the worst. I agree with you on tables etc too, so I hope cafes can make sure they’re used in a considerate way, but at least in the case of cafes I can see wider community/economic value as part of the costs/benefits, whereas with cars and bins blocking pavements outside of empty driveways I think it’s often just selfishness.


This looks fine to me, and good for them maximising what little space they have available, enabling distancing, and still with consideration to the public right of way.

Perhaps attention could be turned to Perry Vale, where the narrow pavement is consistently blocked with wheelie bins?

Yep it’s terrible in Taymount Rise. I often have to walk in the road.