10:16AM, Saturday 18 May 2013
An irate Windsor businessman has accused the council of half measures in promoting cafe culture by pushing to cement the closure of a busy street to cars - but blocking his own expansion plans.
Richard De Wet says it is 'shocking' the council won't allow him to increase the number of tables outside his Creme restaurant from four to seven.
He has spoken out after Royal Borough council officers have recommended the permanent pedestrianisation of lower Peascod Street, where his business sits, following a year-long pilot scheme.
The move is expected to be rubber-stamped at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Richard, 38, has run Creme for 18 months with brother Patrick, 31, and said they only wanted the extra seating over the busy sumer period from June to September.
"It is a blow and does not make any sense at all," he said. "It feels like cafe culture down here, but it does feel like the council is not supporting small businesses and don't want to support us."
The South African-born chef, who lives in St Leonard's Road, said he backs the pedestrianisation initiative but refusal of his proposal goes against this scheme.
The former chef at the Harte & Garter Hotel and at Antony Worrall Thompson's Windsor Grill added: "It is very disappointing as the council could have helped us. We have to turn customers away and the tables would have made us an extra bit of money over the summer.
"It is shocking and will have a massive impact."
A Royal Borough spokesman said ward councillors and a planning officer decided to refuse it as the 'additional space would encroach too much into the street'.
Cllr George Bathurst (Con, Castle Without) added borough planners need to balance use of the street between traders and pedestrians.
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