'We have been to the brink before' - erosion-hit cafe's back-up plan for mobile units
PUBLISHED: 13:33 30 January 2019
A seaside cafe that has been battling the elements for years is asking the council to look again at its back-up plans.
The Dunes cafe at Winterton is creeping ever closer to oblivion and its stand-off with the sea has been particularly tense this year with high tides and strong winds throwing all they’ve got at the exposed spot.
Fears the building could succumb to the worst of this winter’s surges have proved unfounded and the building is stable and open for visitors, its owners stress.
But it a battle they have been waging since 2004 when storms first brought it to the brink and they realised a strategy was needed to save the business.
With the patio hanging over the cliff 15 years ago an application was made for mobile units which were allowed by planners and renewed every five years since.
Jan Bowles said it was needed “just in case the worst happens.”
“We have always had a plan in place,” she said. “And it just happens to be a coincidence that we are going through a period of erosion at the moment.”
In 2004 the beach built back up, and the crisis was averted.
The permission expires in March.
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Under the terms of the original approval a range of conditions was imposed.
The mobile units can only operate as a replacement facility if the cafe is demolished and cannot remain on site overnight for security reasons.
Furthermore, they can be used solely for the sale of hot snacks (excluding fish and chips) or cold food, or hot or cold drinks to take away and for no other purpose because the site is outside any area where planners would normally grant consent for this type of development and permission has been given to meet a specific need, documents say.
There are also notes to with a “right of way” across the car park which should be kept clear for tractors to pull boats from sheds to the beach.
Visitors to Winterton are urged to only use proper access points to the beach, to stay away from the dune edges, and to keep away from roped off areas.
Clambering over the soft sandy cliffs is dangerous and could accelerate erosion.