Don't storm Harbour View - council and tenant's message after 'joke' protest
PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:17 22 July 2019
The door has been opened for a popular seafront café to be given another lease extension in the wake of a proposed sit-in protest.
East Devon District Council has confirmed it is in talks with the tenants of Harbour View Café, in Queen's Drive, about allowing it to continue their business into 2020.
The news comes days after a 'Storm Harbour View Café' protest was set up on social media for Thursday, September 19.
This event mimics a bizarre Facebook post which suggests people could attempt to storm Area 51 - a military facility in the United States which conspiracy theorists believe houses evidence of extra-terrestrial activity.
Some 90 people have said they are going to the Exmouth protest with more than 250 saying they are interested.
The plot where the café operates is part of the site earmarked for redevelopment under phase three of EDDC's seafront regeneration scheme.
Harbour View Café, run by Dawn Hirst, is due to be evicted on Monday, September 30.
An EDDC spokesman said: "We're happy to reassure people that the council is in communication with the café tenant regarding extending their occupancy into next year.
"The council would strongly discourage any occupation of the Harbour View Café premises."
Mrs Hirst told the Journal she would welcome the opportunity to stay and thought the Facebook event was a joke.
She said while any support for her business is appreciated, she cannot support any plans for a protest.
Mrs Hirst said: "The longer we can stay the better,
"We would completely welcome another year.
"I would like to have longer but as long as I can stay and carry on - that's good with me.
"I welcome any kind of support but I don't think protests are productive and it would not be on my say so."
This would be the third time Harbour View has been given an extension, having originally been expected to close up in September 2017.
Last July, the Journal reported it would be allowed to stay until September this year while Hemingway Designs continued its 'visioning process'.
The seaside specialist was tasked with coming up with a recommendation for leisure facilities on the phase three plot.