Brighton pub told it cannot open its garden as it has too many walls

Posted On 12 Apr 2021 at 12:02 pm

The Caxton Arms’ pub garden. Picture by Brett Mendoza

UPDATE: A Brighton pub which was told it couldn’t reopen today because its pub garden has too many walls has now been told it can open after all.

The Caxton Arms in North Gardens was all set to reopen today along with hundreds of other Brighton pubs.

Lockdown rules say pubs can serve customers in their outside spaces – but the government issued new guidance issued last week on outdoor structures which said marquees must have at least half its walls open.

It’s thought this may be behind Brighton and Hove City Council’s initial ruling that the Caxton Arms’ pub garden, which is in a basement, is not covid compliant.

However, today he announced that the decision had been reversed, and the pub’s garden will be opening tomorrow.

On Sunday, landlord Brett Mendoza said on Twitter: “6pm yesterday Brighton Council decided that with or without the temporary roof, my garden is not covid compliant and forced me to close.

“Reason: garden is below street level, surrounded by 4 walls, so air cannot flow.

“Stock bought. Absolutely devastated. Appeal is in.”

He said a final decision from the council is due today.

The pub’s usual capacity is 160 people, and the garden can only hold 32. It had been fully booked every night of this week, and the pub’s stock had been delivered.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very keen for our hospitality businesses to be able to open up safely. We sent them guidance a few weeks ago, and again last week.

“We have also been carrying out a number of proactive visits to advise and support businesses prior to re-opening.

“We haven’t told any of our pubs that have outdoor seating areas that they can’t reopen.

“We have been in discussions with the Caxton Arms about what is possible and appropriate at their premises.

“We have confirmed to them that their rear external area can operate in accordance with current restrictions.

“We’ve been in touch with the pub this morning to try and clear up any confusion that may have occurred over the weekend.”

  1. Geoffrey Banks Reply

    I booked for thursday, have a big sledge hamer, I am going to come and smash up that wall and you will not stop me

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