Keith Richards criticised after West Wittering cafe opposition

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RESIDENTS have come out in force to support a new cafe opening at West Wittering beach which directors say has been criticised by objectors using ‘dirty tricks’.

The proposals to build a new restaurant on the West Wittering Estate have received widespread backing.

Keith, you’re sounding like a NIMBY! Would be great for WW and Chi district. Hope it happens

Max Todd

UPDATE:

The West Wittering Estate has announced it is withdrawing the application to allow it to make some changes before resubmitting it.

The Observer reported last week some West Wittering shareholders, including Keith Richards, were opposing plans to build a new cafe/restaurant on the beach to replace the old cafe.

Readers have now flooded the newsdesk with their arguments in favour of the plans and estate directors have referred to the objectors’ quoted concerns as ‘dirty tricks’.

On Facebook, Daniel Marc Howard said: “Definitely build it. But really... Is 100 seats enough? Have you seen the queues in the summer. They should open the beach till later in the summer, and open an area where you can camp overnight.

“More employment, and would improve what is already a brilliant summer venue.”

Many said they would welcome the extra employment opportunities and the larger facility for the rapidly-increasing numbers of tourists.

Max Todd added: “Keith, you’re sounding like a NIMBY! Would be great for WW and Chi district. Hope it happens.”

Objectors were concerned about the increased size of the new build and the relocation of the venue to bring it closer to the beach which they argued would put it at a greater risk of erosion.

Patrick Byrne, director of West Wittering Estates, said the plans for the new cafe had been evolving for several year with written support from more than 90 per cent of shareholders.

He said: “The advantages of the new building are numerous and the estate has managed to come up with a facility that should be capable of serving the large crowds on summer days and the growing winter visitors.”

The directors posted a notice on their Facebook page entitled ‘Stop the objectors’ dirty tricks campaign’ where they listed the incorrect allegations which had been made about the plan.

Mr Byrne said the footprint of the existing café was 339sqm and the proposed was 554sqm, and under 6m in height, so the increase would be by 63 per cent.

He added that the car park opening hours would not be extended and the design would meet AONB requirements.

“The new upper floor has been kept to a limited size and shape to reduce its visual impact, it will be a serviced café that will open all day.

“This addition will mean that more full-time staff can be employed instead of temporary staff on zero-hour contracts, we hope also to be able to provide training for apprentices in catering.

“The inclusion of a lift means that for the first time the elderly and the disabled will be able to get access to a view of the harbour and the beach: this has been an objective of the board for some time.”

He added that the new building would be in the similar zone as the existing café and building the new cafe in the same location as the old cafe would ‘not avoid this very long-term problem’.

“If we are to protect and preserve what we have, then standing still is just not good enough, we need to invest and think about the future and ways of keeping the values that we have while meeting the expectations of the future, the new café is part of that thought process.”

To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/westwitteringbeachcafe