Longboat Cafe issue has galvanized’ town

SCORES of campaigners packed into Peter Hall, in Budleigh Salterton, last week for a public meeting regarding the controversial Longboat Caf� planning application.

SCORES of campaigners packed into Peter Hall, in Budleigh Salterton, last week for a public meeting regarding the controversial Longboat Caf� planning application.

The meeting was presided over by David Daniel, of the Budleigh Longboat Association, Mayor Courtney Richards, Helen Tickle of the Otter Valley Association and chaired by Maureen De Viell.

Such was the high volume of people who wanted to attend, some latecomers were told to leave for health and safety reasons concerning the hall's use.

Held on the same day as the deadline for public comments on the application, Mr Daniel, Mr Richards and Mrs Tickle each delivered a short presentation, expressing reasons why the plans should be rejected.


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Cllr Richards opened proceedings by reading the town council's stance on the plans - an application submitted by Brent and Jane Hushon, to convert the Victorian caf� into a multi-levelled, glass fronted restaurant.

He said: "The town council has continually recommended that the application be refused.

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"As I have said before, we are not against something happening (in Budleigh) but not this big.

"Then, there is a sense of frustration that our planning authority are taking no notice of not only the feelings of this town and its design statement, but also planning law."

Asked about the large turnout at the meeting, Cllr Richards said: "I think it shows the strength of feeling there is in the area.

"I'm a Saltertonian and have lived here for 66 years. I do not remember any issue galvanizing the town like this has done."

Helen Tickle, chairman of the Otter Valley Association, then gave reasons why the association believes the application should be rejected.

She said: "For many people, the impact would be detrimental, definitely damaging the area.

"To me, Budleigh's unique selling point is the unspoilt nature of its coastline and that is why people come to the town, because there is so little on the seafront."

Members of the Budleigh Longboat Association have paid out of their own pockets for a Landscape Visual Impact Statement to be produced, which was shown to the audience at the meeting.

The statement, put together by environmental architects, Nicholas Pearson Associates, displays pictures contrasting what the seafront looks like now, with pictures of how it could look with a two-storey restaurant .

Mr Daniels said the present building was a piece of maritime heritage and believed to be the last remaining longboat house of its kind in the country. He added: "The site could be developed tentatively to retain the building or the spirit of the building and that is a path the applicant has not chosen, unfortunately.

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