A popular York restaurant wants to make its outdoor eating area permanent – but some are objecting.
Burgsy’s Burger House opened on Castlegate in May 2019. Along with other food and drink venues on the street, it successfully applied to create an al fresco area on raised decking in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now it is applying for permission to make some of the fittings permanent.
The pavement cafés on Castlegate “have enabled business to operate during outdoor-only restrictions, adapt to customers’ demand for more ventilated seating and allow extra area for social distancing,” planning documents state.
“Burgsy’s have a discreet, off-the-shelf cassette awning, initially fitted as a temporary structure to provide shelter for the outdoor-only service that operated during the colder and wet weather.
“The pavement café area has been a big success for Castlegate and having seating sheltered has meant customers prefer this area often over dining inside, even when colder/wetter.”
The decking itself isn’t included in the planning application, as that is covered by a pavement café licence which runs out at the end of September.
But Burgsy’s wants to make the awning permanent, retain two heaters next to the window, and add new lighting.
“The proposals will also offer protection to the listed building for its future viability and offer the public greater opportunity to spend time appreciating the building’s historic character,” documents state.
However, the Guildhall planning panel, which is consulted on all planning applications in the city centre, is objecting.
It says: “The heaters and awning added as a temporary measure should not be made permanent.
“The present decking construction blocks the pavement for disabled access and those with pushchairs when the road is in use.
“Far from protecting the listed building these additions damage it.”
In response, Marta Gemra, who owns Burgsy’s with her husband Patryk, reiterates that the decking is not part of the planning application.
“Taking this into account, I do not feel the objection from the parish is relevant in this instance,” she writes.
“However, if it helps to clarify, the whole street is pedestrianised for most of the day 10.30am – 8pm. The decking remains walkable and is used by the public to cross outside of our licensed times (10.30-22.00), as well as the wider sidewalk on the other side of the road remaining clear 24 hours a day.”