JAVEA COUNCIL has decided to declare war on all establishments occupying public spaces with unauthorised tables and chairs.
In a well attended recent Urbanism and Environment Department meeting, representatives of trade associations and the public sector, expressed their concerns over what they called, ‘a bad image and complete disorder for the town,’ and called for heavy fines and if necessary, cancellation of licences for the offenders.
The meeting also emphasised that strict controls should be put in place, including the type and colour of furniture used by legitimate businesses.
Chairman of the board, Pere Sapena, pointed out that the main offenders were those who extended their outside hospitality terraces, known as ‘Pens’ into spaces allocated for driveways or parking areas, which apart from being a dangerous practice, also restricted public parking in popular entertainment sections of the town, especially near the beaches.
These areas were normally bordered by pot plants, small fences, or in some cases, platforms restricting pedestrian flow.
New regulations discussed and expected to be officially announced at the next town meeting will limit authorised terraces to within 50% of the pedestrian area, with a maximum limit of six metres.
Tables and chairs will either have to be removed at night, or stacked providing they will not interfere with any festive or social event.
Contracts of authorisation will be issued on a yearly basis and agreed spaces will be clearly marked with metal boundary plates, to assist police supervision and control.
For aesthetically minded readers, the meeting suggested that outdoor furniture be restricted to natural wood, white painted bamboo or wicker, supported by white, blue or maroon canvas.
Interesting to note that in June last year, despite around 800 people protesting against the eviction order, 20 restaurants and bars situated in the Port and Arenal beach terraces were forced to remove their tables and chairs in accordance with a town hall edict.
Ironically, Javea’s latest guidebook focuses on the charms of the Old Town, the Port and the Arenal with its “abundance of colourful local bars and restaurants serving traditional Mediterranean food.”
By Benny Davis