BORDER markings on pavements have been touted after a string of complaints about chairs and tables blocking pedestrians in Yarm. 

Restaurants, bars, and cafés have taken advantage of relaxed rules on putting out seating to keep afloat during the pandemic.

But Yarm Town Council has received a number of complaints from the public about routes being cut off by street furniture. 

Correspondence has been passed to Stockton Council to see whether something can be done. 

Clerk Juliet Johnson didn’t name the culprits but told Tuesday’s meeting how four premises were causing particular bother on the High Street at “pinch points”. 

She added: “Cllr (Chris) Neil proposed and it was agreed we would write to Stockton Council to suggest the perimeters are marked out.

“This recognised that, if you’re a busy business, you’re just going to set up and perhaps people in the café move them (furniture). We need some definition of that.”

The chamber heard how Cllr Pam Smailes had raised concerns about businesses straying at a meeting over the summer. 

Regulations allowing eateries and firms to use pavements for extra seating were rolled out in 2020 – with Stockton Council issuing pavement licences for a charge of £100. 

Legislation has been extended to allow the practice to continue until the end of September 2022. 

Moveable furniture which can be returned inside in the evening is a requirement of the passes – as well as ensuring tables and chairs aren’t too close together, or blocking the highway.

Licence conditions also state clear routes of access must be maintained for disabled people. 

However, Cllr Phil Addison warned the town council that it needed to be careful – as he believed it could affect where rides would go for Yarm Fair. 

Earlier in the meeting, the chamber heard the fair would return this October. 

However, former mayor Peter Monck raised doubts about the event given the levels of Covid cases on Teesside at the moment. 

Cllr Monck said: “My concern is we’re allowing the fair to come in when Covid is still rife and when the incidence of Covid is going up. As a council we should be mindful of this.”

However, chairman Cllr Alan Gallafant said it was Stockton Council’s decision and not the town council’s.

He added: “It’s not for us to say. If there’s an issue, it’s down to Stockton. 

“We should leave it to them.”