DCAN 4: Restaurants, Cafes and Fast Food Outlets
Refuse and Litter
5.12 Litter is inherently unsightly and causes considerable annoyance to residents and adjoining businesses. It can also be prejudicial to regeneration efforts, particularly within town centres. The fact that litter will be a consequence of a proposed use of land, particularly a take-away premise use, is therefore a material planning consideration.
5.13 Inadequacy of storage facilities for refuse can result in harm to visual amenity as well as serious risk to public health, and it is important to ensure that there is sufficient physical space for its accommodation. Proposals for restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets should therefore include adequate facilities on the premises for the storage/disposal of refuse generated by the business. Refuse should not be left outside the 13 premises, for example, on forecourts or on the public road (except for collection purposes) but should be stored in containers within an enclosed area of the premises. Suitable access must also be provided for the collection of refuse. Applicants should note that failure to comply with environmental legislation in relation to the storage/disposal of refuse could result in prosecution by the local council. More information on the storage and collection of refuse can be obtained from local councils.
5.14 Typically, conditions to prevent nuisance arising from refuse and/or litter will involve or require:
- Provision of space within the premises for the storage of refuse in containers.
- Prohibition on the use of public footpaths and/or roads for the storage of refuse (except for collection purposes)
- Provision of litterbins both inside and outside the premises.
5.15 Article 13 of the Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 empowers local councils to issue ‘street litter control notices’ in relation to litter on the occupiers of certain premises. These notices are the means whereby local councils can ensure that the owners of premises such as restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets (only fixed premises are covered – not mobile vendors) are required to clear litter from the frontage of their properties. This can involve sweeping or providing and servicing litterbins.
5.16 The litter legislation allows for local councils to place signs, outlining the litter law, in prominent areas. The courts can impose fines of up to £2,500 for litter offenders, and Article 14 of the Litter Order empowers the local councils to provide and maintain receptacles for litter in any street.