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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Cafe owners in street seating row
Pavement cafe
Cafe owners could be charged up to £25 for each pavement table
Plans to increase the cost of pavement cafe tables in Aberdeen have angered restaurateurs.

The city council proposes to charge cafes up to £25 per chair to serve customers who want to eat outside instead of the present flat fee of £53.

Cafe owners claim it would kill off attempts to encourage continental-style pavement cafes.

The money would be used to deal with a surge in applications following the ban on smoking in public places.

Steven Bothwell has 40 chairs outside his business, Café 52, and would have to pay an extra £1,000 a year.

"Twenty-five pounds is hugely excessive, they really haven't thought that one through at all," he said.

"If Aberdeen City Council want to encourage that kind of thing to happen now then they really have to think of that number again.

"I think about £10 or under should be a realistic figure."

The proposals have been suggested by the convener of the city's licensing board, Ron Clark.

He said the fee would pay for extra administration costs and the £25 was only a suggestion which could be revised downwards.

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