Exmouth seafront café given extra month to trade as protest announced

PUBLISHED: 16:02 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:02 02 June 2017

The seafront Harbour View Cafe. Ref exe 7819-41-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

The seafront Harbour View Cafe. Ref exe 7819-41-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

An iconic café on Exmouth seafront has been given a minor stay of execution.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) previously said the Harbour View Café would have to close at the end of August, as it needs the site for its seafront redevelopment plans.

Now, however, the café has been told it can continue trading until the end of September.

The announcement comes as campaign group Save Exmouth Seafront (SES) prepares for a major public demonstration against the council’s plans, with supporters asked to link arms around the area proposed for redevelopment.

Reacting to the café’s extension, leaseholder Dawn Hirst said: “It does make a lot more sense. Obviously I don’t want to close, but closing in August would have been a nightmare.

“I’m pleased it seems some of the councillors have listened and we’ve been given to the end of the season. It does take the stress off a little bit.”

An EDDC spokesperson said: “Both Harbour View Café and Exmouth Fun Park received notice almost two years ago of the council’s decision to end their leases. However, the council has recently granted an additional period of trading to Harbour View Cafe, as no works are planned to take place at the café until after October. We are pleased to be able to assist Harbour View Cafe by providing an amenity facility during September.

“An agreement was reached with the tenants of the fun park and their arrangement finishes at the end of August in line with the holiday period.”

SES says for its protest it wants supporters to congregate at 11.45am on Saturday, June 17, ready to form up and link arms at noon.

It says that following the protest, its members will be stationed at the Harbour View Café, at the fun park, and at site of the proposed Queen’s Drive watersports centre, to speak to the public, with free items for children and t-shirts for sale.

EDDC is planning new buildings and leisure facilities for Queen’s Drive, including the watersports centre, other leisure facilities and holiday accommodation.

A reserved matters planning application for the site was approved by the council’s development management committee in April, and the council says it hopes to move forward with the plans soon.

The spokesperson said: “The council is moving forward with the three-phase development of Queen’s Drive and we look forward to shortly signing an agreement with the watersports centre developer Grenadier who will reveal their building designs soon. Following a period of full public consultation, the proposed watersports centre development will go through the planning decision process by the autumn. Shortly afterwards we will begin to build the new road and car park.”

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