PICTURES: Highland steak and seafood restaurant told to remove outdoor seating area within two days of putting it up
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The owner of a popular steak and seafood restaurant was told to remove an outdoor seating area he had installed on Monday.
Highland Council ordered Scott Murray, the owner of Prime Steak and Seafood on Ness Walk, to remove the temporary wooden outside seating area, as he did not have the necessary planning consent for the structure.
It was removed today, Wednesday.
Covid restrictions limit how many customers can be inside at a venue, and at the moment no alcohol can be served to customers sitting indoors.
Mr Murray, the owner of Prime, said: “Due to Covid restrictions easing we wanted to adapt quickly to meet the demands of customers, and we unfortunately mis-read the guidelines.”
"As soon as we were contacted by the council and the mistake was highlighted, it was clear that no compromise could be reached where we immediately had to take action and make arrangements remove our temporary outdoor area covering.
"We are now working with Highland Council to achieve an early solution of what can be done for our outdoor area – to help in our post Covid recovery.
A spokesman for Highland Council said: "The structure was erected without the benefit of planning permission or a road occupation permit.
“We are fully committed to assisting businesses, and are working with the operator to find a mutually acceptable solution.”
Businesses across the Highlands have been trying to adapt to the easing of restrictions to salvage as much as they can from a disastrous year. Some have installed temporary outdoor seating arrangements while others are counting the days until customers can be welcomed inside again.