December 9 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 23, 2013
A bid to extend the opening hours of the Bumble And Bee café in the Manor Gardens to midnight has been refused by district planners.
Councillors at East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee on Tuesday refused the application because of concerns that the café might become ‘part of the night-time economy’.
Currently the café, which is housed in district council-owned former Tourist Information Centre building, opens until 9pm – the same time as the gardens themselves.
But the managers of the café wanted to extend this to enable them to hire out the venue on an ‘occasional basis’.
The town council objected because they were concerned that an extension could ‘introduce a potentially noisy use in an area that is quiet at night’.
Another concern was that users of the café would use the adjacent gardens during a time when they are closed to other members of the public.
District council officers added that while there had been ‘suggestions’ that the tea rooms would be fenced off to prevent this, no plans had been submitted and it was ‘unclear as to how this would work in practice’. Councillor Pat Graham said: “I don’t want to see Manor Gardens being used after 9pm for drinking and music on a regular basis.
“It would be impossible to keep people near the café and there is certainly no need for an extra bar in the area.
“The gardens are locked at night to prevent overnight sleeping and I would not like to see this change.”
EDDC’s environmental health department added: “During the original application...the agreed hours were regarded as appropriate for the use of these premises as a tea room.
“In fact an extension from 6pm to 9pm has already been allowed. This kind of use is essentially daytime, and we have concerns about a tea room becoming part of the night time economy of Exmouth.
“I do not consider it appropriate to permit the premises to open until midnight on every night just for the ‘occasional’ event.
“If approval is recommended the premises would be able to open until midnight every night and, although this is not what is suggested there is potential for groups of people to be attracted to the cafe for late night refreshment after visiting the pubs.”