Longboat Cafe will be demolished

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 February 2012

Longboat Cafe

Longboat Cafe

Archant

Budleigh Salterton Longboat Cafe owner Brent Hushon has announced the cafe will be demolished and work will begin on building a modern two-storey cafe in the autumn.

Budleigh Salterton’s Longboat Café will be demolished and work will begin on a new seafront café in the autumn.

The announcement comes a week after campaigners celebrated victory when the district council refused café owner Brent Hushon’s latest plans for a smaller, modern, glass-fronted development, writes Becca Gliddon.

Longboat owner Mr Hushon this week exclusively told the Journal he plans to forge ahead with building a larger, two-storey café-restaurant – which won planning permission in 2010.

Former Royal Marine Mr Hushon said work would begin on the site in October.

Mr Hushon said moves to appeal against East Devon District Council’s refusal of the smaller-scale build could be in the pipeline.

The council’s refusal had left him no option but to revert back to the 2010 approved plans, he said.

“I am not ready to walk away from this,” said Mr Hushon, “although I think the chances of getting it done this year are slim.

“What happened doesn’t alter the fact that we want to demolish the building and start something in October.”

Residents believed Mr Hushon’s plans to build the larger-scale café had been thwarted after the district council refused to sell him an adjacent public shelter, integral to the design.

However, Mr Hushon said this week he had never been interested in the shelter – claiming the district council had suggested its inclusion.

“I have planning permission and I can go ahead and build it. I can back right up to the shelter,” he said.

The Longboat owner said his latest application to build a smaller-scale café had been put forward as a compromise to the town.

Mr Hushon said his trust had been shattered and he felt ‘disappointed and stabbed in the back’ by the three Budleigh ward members – Councillors Steve Hall, Alan Dent and Tom Wright – and their public refusal to back his ‘conciliatory’ application to reduce his original plan by 60 per cent.

The café owner, who began planning the rebuild in 2006, said he had worked closely with the councillors on his latest design in a bid to find the middle ground.

Councillor Steve Hall said planning rules prevented the members giving an opinion before any decision, adding: “We suggested some things we would like to see and he was listening. At the end of the day, his architect did not seem to be listening.

“When we were presented with the last set of drawings and plans, we went to the planning officer and said we were not happy with the way his end wall butted right up against the shelter.

“We asked, through an officer, to make amendments and his architect refused. That’s when we lost a bit of interest.”

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