Longboat Cafe owner lodges appeal

PUBLISHED: 09:59 04 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:59 04 November 2013

The owner of the Longboat Café has struck the latest blow in the ongoing saga over its future, by lodging an appeal against East Devon District Council’s rejection of his latest development plan.

The move, by Brent Hushon, comes just over a week before the High Court hears a judicial review, brought by the Budleigh Longboat Association, of a previous decision by EDDC to approve a separate, similar application by Mr Hushon last year.

Campaigners had hoped that, if they won that review, it would bring a final end to attempts to redevelop the café, which they say is an historic building. However, if the planning inspectorate supports Mr Hushon’s case, he could be able to pull it down and build his dream of a modern, two-storey café, after all.

Mr Hushon declined to comment this week on his appeal, but submissions to the planning inspector on his behalf say he does not accept that the plan would be overdevelopment, or that it would harm the character of the area.

Chairman of the Budleigh Longboat Association David Daniel said he was ‘puzzled’ the appeal had been submitted now, rather than immediately after the refusal or after the judicial review, but said their lawyers had asked for the appeal to be conducted as a hearing, rather than a paper appeal, and for the association to be listed as an interested party.

The appeal seemingly puts EDDC in a difficult position, as it will have to go to the High Court on November 8 to argue that it was right to approve the café’s redevelopment, before going to the appeal next year to argue that it should be left in place.

Commenting on this, an EDDC spokesman said: “The appeal against refusal of the latest application has been lodged and is proceeding by means of written representations, with statements due by December 5. The judicial review is very much a legal/procedural debate, while the appeal is about the relative planning merits of the latest proposal. It is, therefore, perfectly possible to seek to defend both, although we will be keeping each under review.”

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