Sloane Square al-fresco dining plans approved – South London News

By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter

London’s Sloane Square will change forever as outdoor dining becomes permanent after the council approved plans.

The luxury shopping district between Chelsea and Belgravia will be used for outdoor eating and drinking from May to October and then host short-term events for the public during the winter season.

Kensington and Chelsea Council has now granted permission for the site to be used by businesses over the next ten years.

The council, which proposed the new set-up, previously said the roll-out of temporary outdoor pop-ups during the pandemic was so popular that it hopes to keep it going in a bid to boost the local economy.

The agreement will allow businesses to open between 8am and 10.30pm seven days a week.

Bars, restaurants and cafés will be allowed to sell food and alcohol on the site and occasionally play live music and show film screenings.

Businesses like the Botanist and Colbert French restaurant have already set up outdoor food and drink spots on the square through pavement licences granted over the past year.

A council planning report said the new arrangement will boost the local economy and continue to attract visitors to the area.

It adds: “The design, [site] and scale of the temporary development is acceptable and would not harm the setting of the listed buildings/structures and the wider Sloane Square conservation area.

“It would retain the good living conditions currently enjoyed by occupiers of the residential units that overlook the square and the existing highway conditions would not be prejudiced by the proposed development.”

The council’s lead member for planning Johnny Thalassites previously said: “Seeing our streets buzzing with people enjoying our world-class bars and restaurants has been a real positive during a difficult couple of years.”

He added: “We want it to be a lasting legacy following the pandemic and we’re proud to be the first council to introduce permanent commitments to al fresco dining, including in London’s iconic Sloane Square.

“It’s a no brainer to keep outdoor licensing on the menu when it’s proven so popular with restaurants, residents and visitors. This is a way to support our businesses to get back on their feet, whilst adding to Kensington and Chelsea’s reputation as a destination.” 

Temporary laws were introduced during the pandemic to make it easier for businesses to host al-fresco dining when eating and drinking indoors was banned.

Over 550 businesses were given these licenses in Kensington and Chelsea in the two years of Covid restrictions.

Kensington and Chelsea Council’s planning committee approved the plans on Tuesday July 26.

Pictured top: Sloane Square al-fresco food and drink (Picture: Hannah Neary)

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