Monday, May 7, 2012
Proposals to demolish the Longboat Café and build a modern two-storey replacement, have been rejected for the third time by the town council.
But the ultimate decision, to be made by district planners, could hinge on a recent planning appeal and if Budleigh Salterton is within the setting of World Heritage Site.
On Monday councillors rejected plans, an amendment to pland approved by district planners in 2010.
The amendment shows the same building but a third shorter because it does not include the neighbouring town council-administered shelter.
However the original plans were not realised because district bosses opted not to sell the shelter to Brent Hushon who owns the café.
New designs were subsequently submitted; but in February these were rejected.
Deputy Mayor Courtney Richards said: “The application that is now before us is a building that is actually larger than the one we refused in February.”
He said that the Longboat was just 200metres from 15 Coastguard Road.
The owner of that property applied to develop the plot but had his application refused on appeal because the inspector said it would be ‘visible from several public viewpoints within the AONB.’
Cllr Richards added: “Well, this is visible from several viewpoints within the AONB.
“Previously we had the Longboat forced on us because it ‘helped tourism’ and people could have a cup of tea.
“The inspector says visual quality is more important than cups of tea.”
Councillors Alan Dent, Steve Hall and Tom Wright, who are also district councillors, also rejected the plans.
In a statement for all three Cllr Dent said that the plans were not an amendment but were a ‘substantial variation’ to the original and would block any view of the sea from the seat on the eastern side of the shelter.
He said: “While wishing to encourage economic growth in Budleigh, both the town and district council’s are duty bound to protect the AONB, the Jurassic Coastline World Heritage Site and the natural environment for wildlife.”
However the situation was further confused because East Devon District Council planners insist that the town is not ‘within the setting’ of the Jurassic Coastline, and Dorset County Council says it is.
Councillor Steve Hall added: “I seriously believe that the three of us can expose the technical shortfalls of this application. It is going to be where they trip up.”