Terrace plan: should help swell coffers hope

Chairs and tables now allowed.

ALICANTE council’s decision to relax the rules regarding bar terraces should swell city hall coffers and generate employment. The council expects to earn an extra €84,000 each year while bars, cafes and restaurants should see an increase in turnover.  Takings could rise by €200 a day, providing work for an extra 50 waiting staff.

Around 300 business-owners will take advantage of the new regulations, the council believes. Using these areas will cost €3 a month for every square metre occupied.  

The newly approved bye-laws allow bars, cafes and restaurants to set up chairs and tables on their terraces at 8am – an hour earlier than at present.  Terraces are also allowed on the central strip of boulevards and promenades separated by a roadway from the establishment itself.  

Formerly, tables and chairs were allowed only on pavements more than four metres wide.  This has now been reduced to three although at least 1.8 metres must remain for passers-by.

A ban remains on plastic terrace furniture emblazoned with advertising. Only wicker, wood, canvas or treated plastic are allowed, preferably in white or beige.  

Permanently-fixed awnings, pergolas or umbrellas will not be allowed and flower troughs and planters must be removed each night. “The new bye-laws were brought in to boost economic activity,” said Oti Garcia-Pertusa, who heads the council’s roads and streets department.

The council is aware that anti-smoking laws are a problem for the restaurant and bar industry, she added. The new regulations, it was hoped, would help the many establishments which could not before offer the option of an outside terrace.

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