TRADERS have hit out at Wantage councillors for refusing to let Costa Coffee have four outside tables on its land.

Wantage Town Council said putting the tables and 12 chairs in Victoria Cross square would block access to the Arbery arcade.

The cafe chain was granted planning permission by Vale of White Horse District Council to put out the tables, but needs town council permission.

The tables would sit on a row of flat flag stones leading to the entrance of the Arbery arcade.

David Crossley Cooke, who owns the Costa shop and the Arbery arcade, said: “Have you known many town councils who want to be progressive?

“What harm does it do? Through the summer if they got a few tables along there it would be nice.”

Town councillor St John Dickson said: “Shops have said it would ruin their business.

“Shops in the arcade have an assumed right of way so Costa couldn’t put tables on the flat part.

“If you have got a lot of people standing out there it is going to make it impossibly busy.”

But Wendy and Colin Gale, who run The Stamp Attic stationery in the arcade, said they liked the scheme.

Mrs Gale said: “I don’t say ‘no’ to the tables, I just say be reasonable to other people trying to trade in the same area.”