Campaigners not swayed by new Longboat plans

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:00 20 May 2013

Campaigners fighting the redevelopment of Budleigh Salterton’s Longboat Café say new plans for the site are no different to a previously rejected design.

Last week café owner Brent Hushon unveiled his new plan for the building – after a judicial review was granted against previously approved plans earlier this year.

However, the Budleigh Longboat Association has criticised the new scheme, comparing it to plans which were previously rejected by East Devon District Council (EDDC) in February last year.

Association member David Daniel said: “We are disappointed to see that the new application is effectively identical to the application rejected in February 2012.

“This application was nicknamed ‘The Pringle’ because of the shape of its roof, and caused Budleigh Salterton Town Council to conduct a survey of every household, in which 1,163 voters (78 per cent of those polled) said that they wanted the development to be restricted to one storey.

“The reasons for rejection by the district council were: ‘The proposed development by reason of the building’s scale and height represents an overdevelopment of the site which combined with its design and palette of materials would cumulatively harm the character of the area and the setting of the Conservation Area, Coastal Preservation Area and World Heritage Coast.’

“Mr Hushon never sought an appeal against this rejection. This is because planning inspectors take a more conservative interpretation of the protections afforded by AONB, Site of Special Scientific Interest and World Heritage Site designations than our pro-development district council, and he was unlikely to have won.”

Mr Daniel says the association is disappointed as it had called in March for Mr Hushon to work with the community to produce a more sympathetic design, and does not feel he has done so, despite Mr Hushon saying last week that community feedback had been considered.

Mr Hushon also said that the new plan would offer a quality venue which would draw people into Budleigh.

The town council will now be consulted, before EDDC rules on planning permission.

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