Building work to start soon on West Wittering beach café


A beach café plan for West Wittering is finally set to be built, with hopes to complete the centre by late 2019.

Planning permission was approved last week for the facility to replace the old cafe, which is set for demolition.

Chief operating officer for West Wittering Estate, James Crespi, said he was confident the consultation process meant the plans were what the community wanted.

He said: “It’s been a long time coming but we got there in the end.

“The project started long before I was involved in it two years ago, it’s been a long process for everybody, I’m very pleased to have got the decision and having put so much hard work and resources towards it.

“Now we’re just focussing on putting everything together to start building.”

He said the hope was to start building before the end of the year but realistically work was more likely to start early 2019, with a view to have it completed by the end of the year, although it was too early to say for definite.

“While we’re incredibly busy in the summer, this is the sort of time we can really push on in terms of planning and do what we want to do,” he said.

The project was the subject of controversy when plans were put forward three years. Designs for a two storey building were revised and a lengthy consultation was issued on where the build should be located.

Final designs included 86 seats, 40 inside and 24 on the outside terrace, more than doubling the old 40-seater café, along with staff rest rooms and a community or teaching space in the winter.

Chichester District Council recieved a total of 25 objections on the final application (18/00612/FUL) a response James was satisfied with.

“That was such a high profile project recieving little to no negative feedback on the planning portal, so that itself for us shows that we’ve got it fairly right.”

The budget for the new café is around £1.8million and he said this was a matter of balancing the need for a building that will function well in 50 to 60 years’ time and other commitments to conservation.

He said: “We want a building that looks great, that blends in with the natural environment but at the same time is a responsbile amount to spend when you take into account the other investments the estate has to deal with.”