VOTE: Do you think the coffee kiosk on Bognor Regis seafront should be allowed to continue trading?

Residents’ protests were over-ruled when an unwanted kiosk along Bognor Regis seafront was given a reprieve.

The coffee business has been granted temporary planning permission until next October.

Councillors voted 13-2 to allow the kiosk to resume trading between next April and October, in spite of complaints from those whose flats overlook it.

But the Arun District Council development control committee members made it clear the kiosk had to be removed by next October 31.

They decided it had no architectural design merit and its lower-quality construction meant it would damage the seafront’s appearance if it stayed there any longer.

The kiosk – 3.75m wide, 2m deep and 2.57m high with seating either side – is sited opposite the high-quality Esplanade Grande block of flats. It began trading in July last year.

Flat owner Maggie Hyde said at the committee’s meeting last week: “Esplanade Grande is directly across the road from this kiosk and I represent over 50 flats in that location.

“This is the only kiosk in a stretch of 250 yards – and there are six others – which is directly across from a residential building.”

Seafront resident Jeanette Warr, who is also a district councillor for Hotham ward, said the kiosk contravened the rules in the council’s seafront strategy to ensure concessions protected the area’s appearance.

“If this kiosk, which is more of a glorified hut, was given planning permission by the council it will have driven a truck straight through its seafront strategy,” she said.

“The area does not require a kiosk of this type of which there are more than an adequate number within a close distance.”

Bognor Regis Town Council also objected to the planning application from the district council. But Arun planning solicitor Delwyn Jones said the concession had a licence to trade from the council until October 31 next year.

It would be difficult to enforce the refusal in those circumstances, he warned.

“The most logical thing to do is to grant the permission until next October,” he said.

Eve Hearsey, a council planning officer, described the kiosk as a ‘square trailer structure portable building made of metal and painted cream with large coffee cup symbols on all its sides’.

Committee chairman Dawn Hall said the council was right to want a kiosk on the site, even if the current design was poor.

She said: “We have got to remember we are trying to attract people to spend their money in Bognor and make it an attractive and comfortable place for visitors to come to.

“It would be nice if the kiosk was a more attractive building but I am sure we can achieve that next year after the current lease expires.”