Billy’s on the Beach cafe expansion plans allowed on appeal

Billy's on the Beach, with the Foreshore Office next door (photo from Google Maps Street View)
Billy's on the Beach, with the Foreshore Office next door (photo from Google Maps Street View)

Expansion plans for Bracklesham Bay’s Billy’s on the Beach have been allowed on appeal by a planning inspector.

The cafe is looking to extend the building to form an outdoor enclosed seating area, which will see the foreshore access route being relocated southwards.

But its application for the works was refused by Chichester District Council’s planning committee back in March.

Councillors raised concerns about highways safety and drainage.

However the owners of Billy’s appealed against the decision and a planning inspector has ruled in their favour.

The decision report said: “During my site visit, it was apparent that the tables and chairs, which form part of the existing external seating area, encroach onto the pavement. This creates problems for wheelchair users and pedestrians manoeuvring pushchairs in particular, as people have to skirt around the tables and chairs, using the access route to the car park.

“The proposal would however ensure that this area is formally enclosed, thus ensuring that there are no obstructions onto the enlarged footway. I consider that this would constitute an improvement for all users, in comparison with the existing situation.”

The inspector also suggested that the improvements including formally enclosing the external seating area and siting the access slightly further away ‘would assist in addressing potential conflicts between the manoeuvring of boats and pedestrians’.

They also considered the proposals would not increase the risk of flooding and any drainage issues could be adequately addressed by a planning condition.