We visit Shisha smoking places in Westminster
and this appears to be a contentious use with objections wholly out of proportion to the nature and characteristics of the use, e.g. the recent appeal decision of Sara Cafe at 13A Crawford Street.
The use and activity is far more urbane and less rowdy than that of public house related activities including seating outside, smoking and smoking shelters associated with Use class A4 etc.
However because of the 2007 smoking ban the use must take place outdoors or in shelters.
I would therefore suggest that this use now increasingly popular with many residents, visitors and tourists
in Westminster, is considered along with smoking
in the section of the Plan covering tables and chairs.
Policy Option 39.5 reasoned justification should recognise and be amended to:
"…. that there is a need for "al fresco eating, drinking and smoking. "This applies to a variety of uses and can be incidental to use classes A1, A3, A4 and A5 establishments, and to mixed use establishments"
Line 3 should be amended accordingly to include incidental smoking.
Policy 39.5 should be amended, adding after:
…provision of table and chairs, on the footway, or on private forecourts to the premises, will only be granted…
Criterion 6 should be deleted as a nuisance can be dealt with under other legislation and then criterion 7 should be amended to include harm to residential amenity.
This will cover those activities requiring approval for smoker's shelters or external seating to rear front or sides of premises but within the planning unit.
Policy 39.6 can be supported if then extended to allow for private forecourts as well. The role of suitable conditions should be emphasised.
The principle point is that there is a need for a smoking use policy as well for eating and drinking whether associated with sandwich bars and coffee shops whether A1 or A1/A3 mixed, restaurants in A3 use and A4 pubs.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful.