A BAR and restaurant has received a boost as it prepares to reopen in the spring after it was granted permission for an outside canopy for al-fresco diners.

Retreat restaurant, in the old Bromley Cross Village Hall, applied to the council for a three-year temporary permission for the canopy for its outside seating.

The restaurant, which has two sister outlets on Chorley New Road and Adlington, is currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

But planning agent Roy Potter, on behalf of Retreat, said: “Following the recent success of outdoor seating areas at Retreat Bolton and Adlington, it has become apparent customers support these schemes as they are able to observe social distancing rules, both inside and outside the premises.

“Failure to respond to these customer requests may lead to further injurious and potentially fatal losses to the group.

"The proposal is to cover the existing external seating area next to the car park with a pitched roof and three-sided canopy enclosure. The interior seating will be collapsible for storage under cover when not in use.”

Planners looked at the visual impact of the new structure and whether it would inconvenience neighbours and stated: “The canopy would be visible from Darwen Road however it would not sit forward of the front, it sits comfortably along the side of the building which buts out towards the rear and the canopy is subordinate in height measuring 3.7m high.

“It is black in colour matching the black window treatments of the building and the majority of the canopy is clear. It will be temporary to maintain the viability of the restaurant during the pandemic.

“Similar proposals have been allowed at other establishments in the borough for a temporary period. The overall impact would amount to less harm to the character and appearance of the area which is outweighed by economic benefits.”

No objections or comments were raised by neighbours to the plans.

Once erected, Retreat has planning permission for the structure for three years.