Holly’z Cafe and restaurant, a perfect example of what the proposed dining policy may require.
Holly’z Cafe and restaurant, a perfect example of what the proposed dining policy may require.

Dining review looms

OUTDOOR dining areas for cafes and restaurants in the Clarence Valley may be regulated to work in with shopping needs of the vision-impaired.

The policy for the central business districts is being considered by the Clarence Valley Council, which recognises need for the vision-impaired to shop without risk of obstructions on the footpaths.

Under the proposal, outdoor dining may be moved to areas extended from the footpath in front of cafes and restaurants. Car parks could be lost in the CBDs to make way for the extended dining areas.

Council’s deputy manager for environment and economics Des Schroder said: “Outdoor dining is modern and we are seeing more and more of it, so we need to have policy in place.”

The extended dining areas may mean CBDs will lose car parking spaces, however, council plans to introduce the policy slowly and give shop owners time to adapt and adjust.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe said extended dining areas would upset many businesses.

“I would certainly like to see more on-site dining like they have in other towns but I think there needs to be better communication between businesses, the chamber and council,” he said.

“They seem to manage and cope with outdoor dining everywhere else, so I can’t see why we can’t do it in Grafton without the fuss,” Mr Challacombe said.

As yet the draft policy has not been taken to businesses or the chambers of commerce.

Council’s draft of the outdoor dining policy will be on public exhibition from February.



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