OK’ to Longboat

PUBLISHED: 11:22 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:41 10 June 2010

DISTRICT council planning officers are recommending the Longboat Cafe is demolished and rebuilt as a modern, seafront restaurant, it was revealed this week.

DISTRICT council planning officers are recommending the Longboat Cafe is demolished and rebuilt as a modern, seafront restaurant, it was revealed this week.

Only last week, the council's conservation officer supported the plans.

Councillors will on Tuesday, August 25, decide the fate of the cafe when East Devon District Council's development control committee sits at Sidmouth.

An EDDC planning officers' report recommends councillors pass the application.

The officers' report acknowledges the strong opinions expressed by those who both oppose and support the proposal.

The report says: "Very few planning applications for what, on the face of it, could be described as a relatively modest proposal can have provoked such a considerable amount of third party interest; even less, have given rise to such strong and diametrically opposed feelings about the proposal.

"That having been said, the proposal needs to be looked at objectively, in the context of the location of the site and the likely impact of the proposed replacement building against the background of this council having little control over the demolition of the existing building or its replacement with another building containing similar planning land use.

"In this case, the likely impact of the new building on the prevailing physical and visual characteristics of this part of the town has been carefully considered and assessed, having regard to the relationship between the built environment that characterises this part of the seafront and the natural beauty of the cliffs at either end of the frontage...

"Having undertaken that exercise and then sought amendments to the original submission to reduce the height and scale of the new building and improve its overall design, the balanced conclusion is that the development would not be so intrusive in the existing built environment of this part of the town as to justify refusing permission..."

The recommendation to approve the proposal is subject to a number of conditions, which include:

l Large-scale working drawings showing architectural and functional details must be agreed, and full details of internal and external lighting must be submitted and approved.

The reasons for recommending approval include:

l The proposal complies with the relevant Devon Structure Plan policies, complies with the adopted East Devon Local Plan and would not harm the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The meeting to discuss the Longboat starts at 2pm at EDDC's Knowle offices in Sidmouth. The public are welcome.

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