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Falmouth cafe in coastal field called a 'wart'
5:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Cornwall
A cafe which has operated from a temporary building in Falmouth’s Boscawen Fields over the summer was likened to a “wart” and failed to win favour with town councillors this week.
The Lendien Rocks Cafe was established near the coast path between Gyllyngvase and Swanpool without planning permission after Tim Smithies bought the fields at auction earlier this year.
He has now submitted an application for change of use of a disused water pumping station to a cafe operating from a mobile vehicle along with a temporary shelter and outdoor seating. This went before Falmouth Town Council’s planning committee on Monday when seven local residents opposed to the application attended.
Mr Smithies told councillors: “I purchased the site in April from South West Water. I approached the council and was initially informed by the One Stop Shop that I was able to run a mobile cafe from this freehold site and did not require planning permission.”
Once the cafe had opened, however, a planning enforcement officer visited the site and said a change of use was needed.
In support of his application, Mr Smithies said the cafe had provided work for three people and several more temporary workers over the summer and that he had received the verbal support of many local residents and dog walkers.
Councillors were told, however, that 18 other local residents have objected to the plans on Cornwall Council’s website. Falmouth Bay Residents’ Association say: “We feel the application contravenes conservation area planning guidelines and will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on the area with no perceived community benefits.”
Councillor Alan Jewell said: “It is in a designated conservation area and is definitely going to impact on that.”
Councillor Rowenna Brock added: “It looks like a wart, it’s horrible. It really stands out.”
Committee chairman, Grenville Chappel agreed. “It does have a visual impact on the AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty), not only when seen from the land, but also from the sea. The liners coming in will see a yellow portable building and that is not what we want them to see.”
The committee is recommending that Cornwall Council refuse the application because of the negative impact it has on the conservation area.
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