Longboat to be listed?

CONCERNS over a bid to redevelop the site of the Victorian Longboat Cafe, which may be on the verge of being listed, have prompted MP Hugo Swire to call for the planning process to be re-examined.

CONCERNS over a bid to redevelop the site of the Victorian Longboat Cafe, which may be on the verge of being listed, have prompted MP Hugo Swire to call for the planning process to be re-examined.

Brent and Jane Hushon have applied to replace the single-storey Longboat Cafe with a two-storey modern restaurant.

However, the latest proposal, the third application after the previous two were refused, has divided the town, writes David Beasley.

Now, the issue is further complicated as English Heritage is considering whether the Longboat should be listed - and preserved - as of historical and architectural interest.


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If the Longboat were listed, it would complicate the planning process, scheduled to come to a conclusion in November, as the building would then need listed building consent, limiting changes to the building's structure and appearance.

Mr Swire has joined the debate because 'a number of constituents' had expressed their concerns.

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"Given the prominence of the site, it was always bound to be controversial. However, my concerns relate to the planning process," he said.

"It is important that not only is the proper planning process followed, but that it is deemed to be fair.

"I have, therefore, written to the chief executive of East Devon District Council (Mark Williams) and the leader, Sara Randall Johnson, and asked them to review the entire process and to satisfy themselves it has been carried out according to proper procedures.

"Of course, not everyone will be happy with a planning decision of this nature, but at least local people should be assured their views are listened to and the whole thing is handled in the proper way."

Mr Williams said: "Our MP is, quite rightly, raising with us concerns that have been expressed to him by a number of constituents.

"I discussed this matter with him on Monday and assured him the planning consideration of this application was an ongoing process and any relevant concerns that had been raised would be addressed before a final decision is taken, probably in November."

English Heritage said it was going to review the property 'soon'.

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