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Snow igloos coming to Exeter

Friday, November 6th, 2020 3:10pm

By Daniel Clark, local democracy reporter and Radio Exe News

But lockdown needs to be lifted

A temporary Christmas ‘snow house’ bar in Exeter has been given the go-ahead in Princesshay, subject to lockdown restrictions being eased.

Exeter City Council’s licensing sub-committee has granted permission for a licence for a company called German Events to hold a Christmas themed market.

They will erect a bar and six igloos which will each sit up to six people, hoping to increase‘dwell time’ – the amount of time people spend in the area. The had license lets them sell alcohol and play recorded music from every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Permission's been granted to run 22 until December, but currently under the lockdown restrictions, are unable to trade.

Sven Schmidt, the applicant, told planners that they are working hard to ensure the impact is as low as possible on residents, saying that people have to book igloos in advance, and that there will be no queuing.  Customers will receive a text when their igloo is available.

Susie Wood, the development manager for the project, added that once the maximum capacity for the bar and the seating area around it is reached, they won’t let anyone in. She added: “While we can’t trade at the moment, we will follow all government guidance in terms of track and trace and table service. Everyone will be guided to the seat and encouraged not to leave the seat for the duration of people there, and when lockdown lifts, we will review everything depending on the tier that Exeter is in.”

Councillors heard that the maximum available capacity will be set at 100 guests, subject to covid-19 restrictions to ensure there is no overcrowding, and the bar will be positioned in-front of an empty retail unit at Princesshay, so that the surrounding shops are not visually blocked. It will be forbidden for people to bring own alcohol into the bar area. , with random bag searches being carried out, A separate food hut will be outside the Snow House.

It's snow-go at the moment, but wait till after lockdown (courtesy: German Events/ LDRS)

The management plan presented to councillors outlines how they only want the media to say good things. It says: ‘the purpose of media is to announce something positive and we must not contact the media for any kind of negative publicity, including emergencies.’

It added: “In the event of an emergency the press might contact us for a statement. A meeting will take place with an external consultant and the Princesshay Shopping Centre. No one must speak to the press before this meeting. Moreover, only the company directors and the bar manager are allowed to speak to the press direct.”

After the meeting, Cllr Matthew Vizard, chairman of the committee, said: “We have considered the application and are pleased to say we are happy to grant the licence as applied for. We wish you the best with it and hope the COVID-19 conditions and regulations enable you to proceed.”


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