Stay of execution granted for outdoor marquees at Cheltenham's No. 131 The Promenade

Marquees described as ‘crucial' to Julian Dunkerton's No. 131 and 133 The Promenade bar and restaurant, which were ordered to be removed by the local authority, are now allowed to remain in place – for the moment at least.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
No.131 and 133 The Promenade are owned by Superdry fashion label founder, Julian Dunkerton.

A series of marquees for outdoor dining at Cheltenham's popular No. 131 and 133 The Promenade bar and restaurant are allowed to stay in place, despite Cheltenham Borough Council ordering them to be removed in October 2022.

The tents were among a number of outdoor dining areas built with the permission of the borough council during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it sought to help businesses provide socially-distanced spaces for customers and stay afloat.

Erected under the proviso that the ‘pointed hat’ marquees were temporary, the owners of the Promenade bar and restaurant nevertheless applied to the local authority for them to be allowed to stay, arguing they had become ‘crucial’ to the businesses survival.

Borough council planners turned down the application in October 2022 and ordered them to be removed ­– but an appeal by The Lucky Onion Group, which operates No.131 and is owned by Cheltenham businessman Julian Dunkerton, has turned the tables.

Liam Jones, head of planning at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: ‘The applicants for the structures at Bar 131 have confirmed that they are appealing the decision and that they will be submitting this to the planning inspectorate by Saturday 31 December 2022.

‘Any further planning enforcement action will be put on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.’

When The Lucky Onion’s hopes to keep the marquees while it sought a long-term outdoor dining solution became known earlier this year, scores of comments were shared with the council and on social media.

Some were in favour, some firmly in agreement with the council’s decision that the marquees were detrimental to the appeal of the Grade II listed building, others pointed out the customers 131 may be taking from other Cheltenham businesses - with the outcome of the appeal eagerly awaited. 

SoGlos has approached The Lucky Onion for a comment.

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