The future of a popular Hale restaurant is uncertain after Trafford Council refused retrospective permission for its terrace.
Cibo, on Victoria Road, had received approval for the use of its terrace area last year but not a steel structure that was later added to it.
The restaurant, which falls within the Hale Station Conservation Area, then applied for retrospective permission for this structure over the summer.
But at a meeting of Trafford’s Planning and Development Management Committee, permission was refused by a margin of two votes.
A refusal notice signed by Rebecca Coley, Head of Planning and Development, said the proposed development “would be at odds with the character, appearance and architectural style of the building”.
It added that the development “would result in “less than substantial” harm to Hale Station Conservation Area, and moderate harm to the significance of a landmark positive contributor to the Conservation Area”.
It said the proposed canopy would be “an unsympathetic addition that detracts from the appearance of the host building”.
Dozens of representations had been submitted to the council regarding the restaurant‘s terrace, with the vast majority in Cibo’s favour.
Denise Laver, from Hale Civic Society, had said in the society’s representation to the council that the terrace was “welcomed by the majority of the community” and that refusal would feel like “an ugly motive against a successful business“.
“Cibo did wrong but why turn a successful business away,” she said. “Why put 62 jobs at risk with the majority of the employees being local?”
Cibo’s owner had told the council that while his actions were “regrettable”, they were done as a “last resort”.
“I was presented with three avenues. To close the business, to double the prices, or to increase the covers,” he said.
“Despite Hale being a wealthy area, charging £40 per bowl of pasta would be unacceptable and unsustainable. Increasing the covers seemed the only option.”
However, the officer responsible for the application said: “If the business is not viable when the restaurant is full, excluding the roof terrace, it should be a matter for the business owner to review their costs and economies of scale, rather than for the Council to have to approve an unsympathetic and harmful addition to the building, which also has a harmful impact on the setting of the Hale Station Conservation Area, in order enable the business to be viable. It is not for the Council to shoulder the developer’s financial risks.”
The decision would require Cibo to remove the street structure, although the terrace can be used. Cibo can lodge an appeal with the Secretary of State under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
We’ve contacted Cibo for their response.