Storm in a coffee cup as Bognor seafront kiosk rejected

Plans to open a Coffee Cup on Bognor Regis seafront were rejected by councillors
Plans to open a Coffee Cup on Bognor Regis seafront were rejected by councillors

Hopes of a year-round coffee kiosk on Bognor Regis seafront have been wrecked.

Coffee Cup hoped to get planning approval to sell refreshments on the promenade opposite the Esplanade Grande flats for 364 days a year.

But the family-run business was told by Arun district councillors to seek another site. They voted 9-5, with one abstention, to overturn their planning officers’ advice to approve the kiosk.

They instead said the structure’s position and size would harm the free flow of pedestrians onthe seafront.

The outcome reflected the protests of Bognor Regis Town Council and 19 letters of objection received by Arun.

Town councillor Sandra Daniells told Arun’s development control committee last week the kiosk conflicted with the Bognor neighbourhood plan.

This stated ‘any development on the seafront must not visually impair any views from the town centre out to sea or along the seafront’.

“The siting of the kiosk is wrong as well,” she said. “It should be sited directly on the pebbles with the front facing the properties and the seating at either side. That would also keep this narrow part of the promenade clear.”

Ian Hall, an Esplanade Grande resident for six years, said: “During that time, a previous coffee box was there and I can assure you there was a significant visual impact from that.

“I endorse what Cllr Daniells has said. It would be a good idea to have the kiosk on the other side.”

This would remove the kiosk from the 4.5m wide promenade and stop the prevailing wind blowing into it off the sea, he said.

Committee members welcomed the potential investment in Bognor but said they were worried the customers queuing and at its 48 tables on either side would overcrowd a promenade popular with walkers, rollerskaters, cyclists and on the landtrain route.

Cllr Elaine Stainton (C, Felpham W) said: “I’ve nothing against the coffee place - it’s brilliant. But it’s the wrong location.”

Arun planning officer Daniel Vick said the proposed site was the only suitable one because it was located on all the services. It would be a cost to move them to the south of the promenade.

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