Village bar to fight ban on outside seats

More than 500 people have signed an online petition to overturn a ban on outside seating at a village beer and wine bar.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:00 am

Taps and Wine in Walton-le-Dale is trying to overturn a council decision to refuse outdoor accommodation for customers in front of the former Conservative Club.

The bar owners have already built the wooden tables and seats, together with soundproofed fencing and a canopy to minimise the impact on neighbours.

So they have made a retrospective application to South Ribble Council urging a change of heart.

Taps and Wine in Walton-le-Dale with its outdoor seating in place.

Sean O’Hagan and wife Debbie have told the council that unless they can use outside seating - especially during Covid restrictions - the bar may not be viable.

“If the lack of an outside drinking and eating area does affect the business sales then the community could see the Taps and Wine Bar heading the same way as the old Conservative Club,” says a statement to the planning committee.

Launching a petition online, the bar owners said: “The lack of overall space in the bar prevented us from reopening safely and viably last July and, despite seeking temporary approval to allow us to use the outside area to enable us to reopen, once again we were refused.

“We have tried to address all the council’s concerns and now would like to apply again for planning approval.”

The former Conservative Club closed in 2017 after 106 years in business.

The new bar opened its doors in November 2019, but was forced to shut down in March 2020 due to the Covid lockdown.

In 2008 Walton-le-Dale had six pubs and one members club. Now there are just three pubs still in business, including the Taps and Wine.