Cafe's 'eyesore' outdoor seating area in road bemuses customers

·3-min read
'Parklets' installed on the high street of a Lincolnshire town have caused a stir, being labelled a
'Parklets' installed on the high street of a Lincolnshire town have caused a stir, being labelled a "waste of money" and "hideous". (SWNS)

A cafe has attracted bemusement from its customers for its 'hideous' outdoor seating area installed in the middle of a road.

The seating area, reportedly set up on the road as part of a bid to promote 'cafe culture', has been branded an "eyesore", with locals suggesting it is both dangerous and unsightly.

An image of the creation for Larders Coffee House was posted online by business owner Kerry Ashby, who wrote: "I’m stuck for words! Except joke, not in keeping with Georgian conservation order, what a waste of taxpayers' money, hideous."

According to Grimsby Live, the seating area forms part of the local council's Active Travel Scheme, which aims to promote cycling and walking.

But local residents hit back at what they branded a 'parklet', suggesting it would have an adverse effect on parking and make accessibility hard for vehicles.

A petition in favour of keeping café culture-style seating in Louth’s Cornmarket has been launched while the installation of new “parklets” on the town’s High Street has caused a stir. Mike Bristow, from Larders Coffee House, launched the change.org petition to “Keep The Cornmarket Cafe Culture in Louth” on Tuesday and has received around 200 signatures in that time.
However, Lincolnshire County Council’s first parklet, which was installed on Mercer Row last night has sparked hundreds of commenters on social media with many already raising safety concerns and worries about the visual impact – a second one is due to be installed on Wednesday, August 24.

Caption: Newly-installed seating on Mercer Row, Louth
The outdoor seating area at Larders Coffee House in Louth has sparked criticism from locals. (Reach)

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One person wrote: "I am not sure I would want to recline next to a busy road in the middle of town? Also concerned children might fall off the side into traffic?"

Another added: "They must have completely lost the plot. What an absolute… eyesore", while a third said: "That can’t be safe or healthy. How is this encouraging cyclists? It must make it more dangerous to bike through town as they’ll have to dodge in and out of these parklets."

Despite the backlash, Larders has launched a petition urging people to support the seating area staying in place, which has already attracted more than 300 signatures.

The petition, set up by Mike Bristow from Larders Coffee House, says: "Larders Coffee House wish to ensure that the hundreds if not thousands of hospitality customers local and holidaymakers that have enjoyed this unique to Louth Cafe Culture are given the opportunity to say YES to keep the Cafe Culture in the Cornmarket in Louth."

A petition urging people to support the seating area staying put has attracted more than 300 signatures. (Change.org)
A petition urging people to support the seating area staying put has attracted more than 300 signatures. (Change.org)

According to Grimsby Live, a recent public meeting saw around 250 people vote almost unanimously in favour of calling on the council to halt the Louth Active Travel Scheme and restore parking to how it was before.

Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways, told the newspaper: "There’s clearly a lot of support in Louth, and across Lincolnshire, for exploring different ways of using our high streets and moving about them.

"The government has provided this money to experiment with new ideas and approaches to try and do things better.

"Whilst I recognise that we don’t always get everything right first time, this petition does suggest that there is more support than some would like to admit for our experimental trial in Louth."

According to reports, local councillors now plan to discuss the scheme following a trial of similar parklets in the town, in the hope they can find a consensus.