A NEW policy to help use street food stalls and outdoor cafes to try and attract more people into Accrington town centre has been approved.

Hyndburn Council is looking to capitalise on improved performance in some high streets driven by street food and markets.

The policy has been drawn up after cabinet members voted in 2018 to introduce a new framework that will encourage outdoor food and drink establishments in Accrington town centre.

And cabinet members approved it at a meeting yesterday

The three main areas considered to be potential venues for pavement cafes/restaurants are the town square, Blackburn Road and Broadway.

Senior councillors in Hyndburn voted to adopt a policy seeking to control the licensing of pavement cafes.

Under the proposed new policy anyone wishing to obtain a street café licence would have to pay £125 to apply for one.

Bosses say it would help make sure cafes with outdoor seating enhance the area and don’t cause a hazard to pedestrians.

Cllr Joyce Plummer said: "Outdoor seating would be encouraged but it's important that they are properly licensed and managed.

"It's important that this robust policy is in place to deal with issuing and maintenance of licences.

"This idea will enhance the borough and add to the facilities offered for people who live and work here as well as people who come to visit."

Borough licensing manager, Wendy Redfern, said: “Alfresco eating is becoming a more widespread aspect of urban life and the presence of tables and chairs on the pavement can make a positive contribution by adding vitality, colour, life and interest to an area.

“Hyndburn Council supports and encourages the provision of pavement cafes in the area as they can help maximise the use of public spaces, aid the local economy and add to the facilities offered to people who visit, live, and work in Hyndburn.

“Whilst the council wishes to encourage pavement cafes, it is important that they are properly located and managed.

“This is to ensure that they meet the standards we expect in Hyndburn and that they do not obstruct the highway nor create a hazard for pedestrians, especially for blind, partially sighted and other disabled people.

“The area to be used must take into account other needs in the immediate vicinity e.g. kerbside parking, bus stops and pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians’ needs must be paramount.

“The expanse of the pavement cafe must not conflict with any access or dropped crossings that are required for free passage of normal road users.

“Barriers and tapping rails should be positioned and maintained to the satisfaction of Hyndburn Council and should be totally removed outside the permitted hours of operation of the cafe, restaurant or bar.”