Developer hits out at refusal of plans for seaside cafe

The site of the proposed seaside cafe. Credit: Google Maps

The site of the proposed seaside cafe. Credit: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

The developer of a proposed seaside cafe has hit out at a town council, branding them ‘disgraceful’, after it stuck by its position of recommending refusal for the plan.

Peter Colby, of Peter Colby Commercials. Credit: Anthony Kelly

Peter Colby, of Peter Colby Commercials. Credit: Anthony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Proposals to build the seaside cafe were rejected unanimously during East Suffolk Council’s planning committee meeting on Tuesday, November 10.

Planning Officer Melanie Seabrook of East Suffolk Council recommended refusal based on Lowestoft Town Council, the landowners, also objecting and the developer, Peter Colby, refusing to carry out contamination or environmental surveys.

Mr Colby wished to redevelop the North Denes car park and immediate surroundings into a café and restaurant, similar to the one at Dunwich.

Proposals were put forward for an unlicensed restaurant which would serve fish and chips, separate toilet block and a small motorised train for children.

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He also planned to cut back land between Links Road and the Victorian Oval buildings as a venue for outdoor events.

The planning committee of the town council first recommended refusal for permission in 2018 based upon it not being in line with the development of Ness Point Park, because of the look of the building and fears about the environmental impact it would have on land.

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It was also noted that as landowners of the site, the council was not consulted by the developer and no prior permissions had been granted for use of the land.

The town council have not changed their stance since 2018, leading Mr Colby to say: “Lowestoft Town Council, for reasons best known to itself, refused to enter into any dialogue whatsoever.

“This is a disgraceful act. Not for the first time in Lowestoft, political intransigence scuppered the popular good, and as always, local people suffered as a consequence.

“The town was deprived of a risk-free development that would have enhanced the area and brought in much-needed prosperity at a time of crisis.”

A spokeswoman for the town council confirmed they stand by the decision to recommend refusal.

She said: “The council has no current plans to dispose of land in its ownership and are working on exploring the future viability of the land with options which include possible contamination investigations.

“Once we have a strategy agreed for the land it will follow an open and transparent process and consider due legal process if making any changes from the current uses.“

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