A POPULAR Newport café is looking to expand its outdoor seating, submitting an application to install all-weather pods.

If approved, The Café at Ridgeway will be able to place six pods on the land outside the café itself.

According to the planning application, the plans come as a result of “changing consumer behaviours and expectations that have arisen in the last 18 months, not only as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, but also as a result of adapted social patterns.”

Located off Allt-Yr-Yn Avenue in the Ridgeway area of the city, the café is situated in a converted former public toilet building, and was given a brand new lease of life in 2015.

It quickly established itself as one of the go-to places in Newport, and despite suspending its alcohol licence earlier this year, bosses at the café are looking to take another step forward.

Planning documents, submitted to Newport City Council by café owner John Lavender, show that they hope to replace current outdoor seating with covered pods – in a bid to keep customer levels high, even during poor weather.

This comes at a time where indoor dining at the café has been affected by the ongoing pandemic, and resulting restrictions.

The pods are thought to be a better, and safer alternative to a gazebo style covering – due to the café’s location on a hill, causing the area to see high levels of wind.

Design specifications show that the pods can be used in a number of ways, depending on weather and season.

Made out of timber, they also come with PVC covers which can be customised to allow for ventilation, fully used in wet weather, or completely removed on a sunny day.

According to pod manufacturers, the pods can come with heating and lighting add-ons, though it is not known if the proposed pods at the café would have these.

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The planning documents go on to show that along with the pods, the building itself could be set to see improved accessibility.

A wheelchair ramp is proposed, to connect the bathrooms with the outdoor dining area.

External doors to the bathroom are also planned – in a bid to reduce the number of people entering the café itself to use the bathroom facilities.

The planning application was received by Newport City Council late last week, and can  be viewed online here.