New café and sandwich takeaway proposed for Sidmouth seafront

A visitor attraction on Sidmouth seafront will become a café and sandwich takeaway if a planning application is successful.

Proposals for the Jurassic Coast Interpretation Centre at The Arches will see the glass-fronted space instead used to offer up light lunches and ice creams.

Town councillors made the ‘prime site’ premises on The Esplanade available for lease earlier this year and invited commercial and community-based bids.

Applicant Dan Lakeman, who already runs The Bagel Shop in Cross Lane, is now seeking permission for a change of use from visitor centre to food outlet at the seafront building.

He has also asked East Devon District Council (EDDC) for permission for new, black and orange signage and window stickers at the premises.

The plans state: “The successful applicants for the new lease were a local couple who run a successful bagel business already within the town centre.

“Their proposal is a similar café and sandwich takeaway proposal providing light lunches and ice creams on the seafront.”

Potential opening hours would be from 8am to 9pm depending on seasonal demand.

The application adds: “The proposals will help to enhance a prominent part of the seafront by putting a currently vacant building back into use.

“The nature of a café and sandwich takeaway means that no permanent changes will be carried out to the building in order to facilitate kitchen equipment or ventilation systems, and the signage has been designed to fit within the unusual window frontage with minimal, if any, permanent alteration.

“The serving of sandwiches and ice creams will increase numbers of people within the locality, but it is considered that there will be minimal detrimental effect of noise or smell to any neighbours and provisions will be put into place to prevent additional litter.

“The proposals put back into use a vacant building within an important and attractive area of Sidmouth seafront, providing economic growth within an area highlighted as being one that would benefit from commercial input.

“The proprietors are young local people who have already had a positive impact on the town with another similar attractive and successful business and would be an asset to the seafront community.”

EDDC will decide the fate of the application.

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