A RESTAURANT owner has called for more "common sense" after she was ordered to remove a small alfresco table from the front of her high street premises.

Nicki Gillon and her partner Ody Hatzitzikas own Greek-influenced Westhoughton eatery The Kitchen, which opened in September.

Hoping to take advantage of the recent warm weather, they decided to set up a single alfresco table outside the front of their Market Street premises for customers to use.

But about two weeks ago, a police officer visited the restaurant and asked the couple to move the table, as they were not allowed to have it on the pavement.

Miss Gillon was left confused by what had happened, as the pair had paid for an on and off-premises licence.

She said: "The PCSO came and told us that no furniture whatsoever was allowed.

"If we had been service alcohol then I would understand.

"So apparently there is a blanket rule across Bolton Council that means there should be no outdoor seating areas on the pavement.

"But Market Street has quite a wide pavement so it wasn't causing any trouble. There was no discussion, they just told us those were the rules."

She said the restaurant would be happy to pay for whatever licence it needs but claimed they had not been given any guidance.

She added: "Personally, as somebody who is part of a certain age group and who has seen the atmosphere of places like the Northern Quarter, Chorley and Monton, I think this is quite sad.

"We have had customers coming back in saying 'why has the table gone'.

"This should be something that is looked at individually rather than just having a blanket rule.

"If we look at what we are trying to do in Westhoughton, I'm quite happy to say that I think Bolton Council is quite old fashioned because they are not seeing the bigger picture.

"It was just the way it was done. We were not offered any help. It was just a blanket 'no'. I just think we need some common sense.

"We just want to help create this atmosphere in Market Street and this is just a shame for a town that is trying to become something.

"I am so passionate about trying to create something, that real cafe-culture feeling because I know people would love that here. We just need to get past all of this red tape."

She said she did not wish to blame the police officer and said he was just doing his job.