Give your view on street parking making way for tables and chairs
The experimental "parklet" in Wimbledon Village High Street. Pic from @SaveWimbledon
Two parking bays in Wimbledon Village High Street have made way for outside restaurant tables as part of an experiment by the council to help the hospitality sector recover from Covid-19 restrictions.
The “parklet”, taking the form of a temporary wooden structure which creates space for outside dining, has just been put into place outside the Light on the Common restaurant.
Merton Council says this parklet, the first in the borough, will be in place for 12 months. There is a chance to comment on the scheme through a consultation which will be open on this link https://consult.merton.gov.uk/Project/3248 until December 13.
The council said: “To support the hospitality sector recover from Covid-19 restrictions, Merton Council is supporting business who wish to extend seating areas onto the public highway. In many cases, this includes pavement licences for tables and chairs on the footway.
"We are also working with businesses across Merton, supported by Government grants to introduce parklets in some locations to provide additional seating capacity. Parklets are temporary wooden structures and planters which occupy parking bays and provide additional space for outside dining.
"Parklets are not only part of the Council's commitment to supporting economic recovery, they also contribute to improved air quality, vibrancy and sense of place as well as reducing vehicle dominance in the street scene."
The original plans for the "parklet" in Wimbledon Village High Street
The move has so far has some mixed views on Twitter: @GeoffreyBrock6 queried the use of the term 'parklet': "Doesn't look like a parklet to me. Looks like an outdoor dining area (which is fine, but call it what it is)."
@nicscho agreed: "So not a public space after all?! Wimbledon introduces its own definition of parklets: “Parklets are temporary wooden structures and planters which occupy parking bays and provide additional space for *outside dining*"
@SaveWimbledon said: "Seems to me it’s simply a way to extend putting tables and chairs for dining as part of temporary govt scheme for “pavement licensing.” When Merton runs out of pavement, it calls it a “parklet.” Are restaurants paying Merton a fee for this?"
June 15, 2021