Al fresco dining moves step closer in Bath's Kingsmead Square
Plans to transform Bath's Kingsmead Square into an al fresco dining venue are about to move forward.
A planning application to allow businesses in the square to expand their outdoor dining areas is due to be submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council.
The application, being made by Bath Business Investment District (BID) on behalf of local businesses, will include a request to close Avon Street and New Street to traffic during the day.
BID manager Andrew Cooper said the application also outlined a design brief for the look and style of the al fresco dining furniture.
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He said: “No one has looked at it in a holistic way before. It needs that collective approach rather than waiting for one particular business to take the plunge.
“Historically the square has not been right. It’s not been a destination which anyone goes to but changes to the retail in the area with the arrival of more coffee shops and market stalls the area has improved. We feel if we are to close the road in a way that meets everyone’s needs it will develop the square into a cafe culture.
“It will enhance the area, make it less of a cut through and slow the footfall and encourage people to spend more time there.”
The application looks to make the main pedestrian area in the square an outdoor dining zone, which will be divided into separate seating areas for the different cafes and restaurants to use. The areas will be divided by planters and include serving desks.
In the very centre there will be an open space for market stalls, artwork, public performances and benches.
Managing director of Kingsmead Square firm HPH Commercial Property, Lindsay Holdoway, has been instrumental is putting the application together.
He said: “Kingsmead Square is becoming an increasingly important hub of both daytime and evening entertainment and leisure in Bath city centre, sitting between the Odeon Cinema, Theatre Royal and Komedia.
“The area hosts a variety of cafes and restaurants, and nearby hotel developments including the Premier Inn, Gainsborough Spa and Kingsmead House will mean Kingsmead Square will see increased footfall over the coming years.
“The changing demands of this area means policies and investment need to keep pace to deliver an amenity for the benefit of local people, businesses and tourists. We are delighted to be working with the BID team to develop and deliver a vision for Kingsmead Square.”