Longboat plan would enhance area

PUBLISHED: 13:23 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 10 June 2010

As a visitor to Budleigh Salterton, I have been interested in reading the articles and letters regarding the planning application of the Longboat Cafe.

As a visitor to Budleigh Salterton, I have been interested in reading the articles and letters regarding the planning application of the Longboat Cafe.

I appreciate the fact that Budleigh Salterton is a traditional, unspoilt, seaside town, which values itself on high-quality and eco-friendly living.

One of the strengths of the town is the depth of loyalty and feeling of its residents and their defence against any outside influence, which may change its central character and beauty.

The planning application of the Longboat Cafe is interesting. I have visited the cafe several times and eaten, what I would describe as, the best crab sandwich I have ever tasted. The quality of the crabmeat is exceptional. The cafe is a good example of high-quality eating and service, which one would expect in Budleigh.

The building of a high quality restaurant in the centre of the promenade overlooking the beach seems to be a very sensible one. I sat down to write the pros and cons of such an arrangement as follows:

Pros:

l Improvement to overall aesthetic quality of the environment, specifically the beach area and promenade, fulfilling the requirements of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

l Provision of a high-quality restaurant which could be open all year round, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of its surroundings while enjoying high quality food and drink, including alcoholic beverages.

l Employment of local people on a regular basis (with no breaks for bad weather).

l Use of good quality local ingredients, particularly seafood, fruit and vegetables, which would help local suppliers.

l Improvement to quality of life of local residents and visitors.

l Provision of focus for local tourism.

l A reason for people to come to Budleigh, who would then spend money in other local shops and businesses.

Cons:

l Some disruption, including noise, during the construction work.

Last year, I visited Lyme Regis and spent some time there. The new restaurant owned by Mark Hix, overlooking The Cobb, has similar architectural features to the Longboat Cafe design.

I visited the restaurant several times and enjoyed not only the delicious food and drink served there, but also the views and overall beauty of Lyme Regis itself.

I feel the restaurant has enhanced the beauty of the town considerably. I would suggest readers and residents against the application should pay a visit to Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis and then think how the Longboat Cafe could replicate the considerable enhancement of Budleigh Salterton in the same way.

Mrs Patricia Firth,

The Cottage, High Street, Ellington, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

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