AN ILKLEY bar and restaurant has reduced its outside seating area after complaints from residents.

Banyan has won praise from one of the protestors after acting swiftly to address concerns.

The bar, on Brook Street, was report to Bradford Council amid claims that pedestrians have struggled to get past the increased amount of furniture on the pavement.

There were warnings that the extra tables, chairs and planters had forced pedestrians into a busy section of road causing a safety hazard.

But after initial negotiations with the council the bar, which is owned by Arc Inspirations, has taken the views of local people on board.

Arc property and development director Nik Lowry said they were keen to resolve the matter and had reduced the size of the external area.

In an email to resident Cherry Dexter, who had complained about the increase in size of the outside area, he said: “I did instruct the set-up of the area which followed consultation with the local authority to understand their policy for external seating areas so that we could create a beautiful area fully compliant with the policy. We operate similar external areas outside a number of our other bars without issue and are remain keen to do so at this site.

“We pride ourselves on being a responsible operator delivering great facilities for our customers to enjoy and we are also are committed to being part of the Ilkley community which hopefully the level of investment we have made into the town demonstrates.”

Ms Dexter said the company was acting in a socially responsible way.

She said: “I was really pleased to hear that common sense has prevailed and that the size of the outside seating area has been reduced to ensure the safety of pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues.

“I was party to a discussion about the increased seating area during the week when one resident said it was just another example of corporate greed. The fact that swift action has been taken to resolve this matter will hopefully demonstrate to the community of Ilkley that Arc is in fact keen to operate fairly and sensibly.

“I would imagine that there are many people, me being one of them, who would enjoy sitting out outside a café or restaurant in sunny weather, but clearly that this cannot be the expense of other people’s safety.”

Ilkley councillor Anne Hawkesworth reported the bar to the enforcement section of Bradford Council after receiving “oodles and oodles” of complaints from the public.

Before the space was reduced she said: “The planters are lovely but they take up so much room. I love street cafes but I just think this is a step too far.”

Arc says it operates similar external areas outside its bars in Leeds, Harrogate, York and Manchester.