Barista Buoy fans rally to support clifftop planning bid

Barista Buoy, a converted Tuk Tuk selling Strangers Coffee, was awarded a temporary pitch on Gorleston seafront

Barista Buoy, a converted Tuk Tuk selling Strangers Coffee, was awarded a temporary pitch on Gorleston seafront at the far end car park along Marine Parade. Pictured is owner Mark Sutton (Buttons) with his wife Karla George and two-year-old son Ziggy. - Credit: Karla George

Nearly 200 fans of a seaside coffee stop have rallied to support a planning bid to allow it to stay.

Barista Buoy was awarded a temporary pitch by Great Yarmouth Borough Council at Gorleston's clifftop car park where he became a popular fixture last year.

It is owned by Mark Sutton (known locally as Buttons), from Gorleston, who was furloughed during lockdown and made the enterprising decision to sell coffee by the sea.

Mark Sutton (Buttons) is owner of Barista Buoy. The business was awarded a temporary pitch on Gorles

Mark Sutton (Buttons) is the owner of Barista Buoy which has been pitched on Gorleston seafront at the far end car park along Marine Parade. - Credit: Karla George

Even taking account the Government's "coronavirus provisions" the number of days the site can be used under permitted development rights has been reached if not exceeded, papers say.

In response the council has submitted an application to enable the mobile coffee concession and other types of food and drink sales to continue.

Close to 200 comments have been submitted to the council supporting Barista Buoy saying it is an asset to the area, and a lifeline for people with limited mobility as well as praising the "polite and courteous" owner who is "always smiling."

One person noted a lot of people had "taken a shine" to the coffee stop.

Barista Buoy, a converted Tuk Tuk selling Strangers Coffee, was awarded a temporary pitch on Gorlest

Barista Buoy, a converted Tuk Tuk selling Strangers Coffee, on Gorleston seafront at the far end car park along Marine Parade. - Credit: Karla George

Another said: "With a few well-chosen concessions we will have our very own Southwold."

However, others said adding to the retail element would introduce a commercial element that was "completely out of character" for sought-after Marine Parade urging the council to "abandon the idea".

Those against the mobile units said they were also worried about noise, litter, loss of parking spaces and subsequent overspill into residential roads, and an increase in vermin.

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One person said it would "spoil" a greatly loved area.

Another wrote in their objection: "It will be a sad day when Gorleston upper prom competes with B&Q car park."

The free car park has around 70 spaces.

If approved it is likely the area will need more bins, the council says.

Officers say the permission would be temporary for 190 days a year.

On balance the report says any potential harm would be outweighed by the benefits and officers are advising development control committee members to approve the plan when it comes before them on March 2.

To view the plans visit Great Yarmouth Borough Council's planning portal citing reference 06/21/1018/CU.