Where do we go from here?

RE: Longboat Caf� If it goes ahead, then good luck to them. My concern would be, where are all the customers needed to keep the Longboat afloat actually coming from.

RE: LongBOAT Caf�

If it goes ahead, then good luck to them.

My concern would be, where are all the customers needed to keep the Longboat afloat actually coming from. The cafe is closed over the winter months, presumably because there is not enough trade to justify opening.

If some of the most glorious coastal views in the whole country are not enough to draw people at this time of year, then I doubt very much another glass and aluminium caf�/restaurant will do it either....no matter how trendy.

I always thought the town of Budleigh Salterton survived as an attraction to both residents and visitors because it was in a 'time warp' and not despite it. It has a definite identity.

Budleigh has remained popular with all those lucky enough to pass through, because it has refused to bow to the pressures of entrepreneurs, commercial redevelopment and personal gain.

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The beach works because it is beautiful and certainly does not need 'enhancing'.

It has one of the most dramatic coastal views in the whole country....why would anyone want to ruin it for the sake of a caf�?

Can we get away from the romantic notion that the new development is for the benefit of the town. It is a business venture aimed at making a profit and will mostly benefit those directly linked to the project.

It would not survive by simply offering a wider range of snacks and sandwiches to those out for a stroll... it would need to be elite if it is to attract the necessary clientele.

Despite the 'music-hall' image, Budleigh has of a town full of retired colonels and bank managers, the reality is of low income working families and those on fixed income retirement plans. The average resident is not awash with money.

It is quite possible the new caf�/restaurant may have completely the opposite effect of attracting visitors and could even drive them away.

Once Budleigh Salterton loses that unique ambiance and atmosphere it currently enjoys, then I can see the love affair people have with this town from a bygone age being broken, never to return.

Somebody (the customers) has to pay for the venture. I am not sure there are enough well-heeled local residents to keep the project sailing through the long winter months. Especially, when the moneyed 'second home' owners have moved on to the Canaries for the winter.

It seems strange that the application is being so vigorously pursued at a time of such serious economic downturn.

Maybe the rumours of a Stein/Ramsey/Pierre White character lurking patiently in the background are not without foundation.

Whatever the outcome, I am sure a certain supermarket giant is watching developments in the town with interest.

Once a planning application of this magnitude is granted, then expect the floodgates to open.

There will be no turning back and it will be very hard to turn down lesser planning applications in future.

I don't feel local council would be strong enough to stand in the way of certain high street retailers who are used to setting their own agenda.

It may turn out like a prominent tattoo... seemed like a good idea at the time, but too late to have regrets about it once it has been done.

Or possibly a 'white elephant' .... there will be nothing worse than seeing it abandoned and empty with a 'Lease for Sale' notice in the window, like the restaurant in the high street has had for the past three years.

Our concerns should not just be about the Longboat caf� proposals... but, even more importantly, where is it actually leading us. Where do we go from here?

What next for Budleigh Salterton?

On the other hand, it might well be a roaring success... but I wouldn't want their window cleaning bill.

Pete Whitelaw

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