Popular Lark Lane bar hopes to expand and create outdoor seating area

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More people prefer sitting outdoors as a result of covid-19.

A popular South Liverpool venue hopes to create an external seating area as it responds to a change in habits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An application has been submitted to Liverpool Council for a creation of a covered seating area outside The Green Man bar on Lark Lane, which until recently was known as the Ink in the Well. The proposal would involve the partial demolition of a single storey area at the rear of the property and conversion of a former kitchen area.

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The plans have been submitted by Robert Gutmann, who owns a number of venues in the area including Love and Rockets, which was the focus of a contentious planning application of its own earlier this year. According to a design and access statement submitted to the local authority, the plans would include removal of a small roof area to create external space for eating and drinking across five tables.

Glazed screens are proposed to be installed to enclose the space. The statement said the applicant had been under the impression that this work could be carried out without the need for planning consent under permitted development.

The statement also outlined the reason for the application. It said: “Given the change in recent eating and drinking habits since the Covid-19 pandemic, having access to some external area is vital to the successful running of hospitality venues.

“Many customers with disabilities and other health conditions still do not feel comfortable socialising in an indoor environment, no matter how effective the mechanical ventilation systems may be. By providing this external area we will be improving the accessibility and inclusivity of the venue whilst also adding the health benefit of improving the natural light and ventilation to the rear of the venue.”

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No changes are suggested to be made to the opening hours in line with the current premises licence with no music to be played externally at any time. Customers would be seated at all times, with table service provided to the external area.

The design and access statement said should the extension get the go ahead, an additional two members of staff would likely be employed. It added: “Without the appeal of an outdoor area to draw summer clientele and to get light into the back of the space, we’d expect trade to be hugely restricted and employee numbers to fall to around 12 in total.”

The application asked councillors to approve the plans which it said “will support the long-term viability of this hospitality venue and improve the inclusivity and accessibility of the space for all.” No date has been set for the proposals to be put before the local authority’s planning committee.

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