Glasgow's street cafe culture

Last week (17th November), a Glasgow City Council committee approved changes to the city's temporary street café (TSC) policy.


Outdoor cafes have played an important role in the recovery of the city centre since the pandemic, particularly in the hospitality sector.


The new policy hopes to improve the application process for businesses, who had previously raised concerns over the complicated and lengthy nature of the application process, alongside confusion over the obligations and requirements of operators.


The proposed changes - which would go live in March 2023 - to the policy would see:

  • Greater clarity on the obligation to be a good neighbour, listing obligations and responsibilities, including the need to display signage on-site showing the space the business has been given permission to occupy, including the number of tables and chairs;
  • Extended opening hours (7am - 10pm) for TSCs - other than at Buchanan Street, Gordon Street, Royal Bank Place and Royal Exchange Place, where the hours will be 11am - 10pm;
  • Glasgow City Council will apply for planning consent to use designated public land in the city centre for TSCs, meaning that each new applicant within the core city centre areas detailed above would only have to apply for a permit to occupy the public road. On the designated streets there will be no requirement for the operator to apply for individual planning consent
  • The application system will go online, rather than the current manual process.