Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council pours cold water on beach ‘coffee van’ bid

17:30 16 May 2014

Archant

A bid to sell coffee from a van on Sidmouth’s west beach failed to win over civic leaders – who said it could set a life-threatening precedent.

Plans for a concession based in a converted Ford Transit fire engine attracted criticism for being visually intrusive and unfair competitors to nearby cafes.

Applicant Laura Manley said such businesses are commonplace elsewhere and could attract young people and ‘high spend professionals’ – yet town councillors feared the van and its customers could block the path of Sidmouth Lifeboat’s crews.

Speaking at Monday’s town council meeting, Cllr Peter Sullivan said it could delay the crews on their callouts, adding: “Sidmouth Lifeboat has enough problems getting to the beach in the high season.

“We cannot allow anything that will hinder it.”

Mrs Manley has pledged five pence from every pound to Sidmouth Lifeboat.

A letter from the Fort Café said there was ‘no way’ it could compete with a business with such low overheads, and granting permission would ‘open the floodgates’ to other mobile ventures.

Cllr Ian Barlow said: “I love competition, it makes people give people what they want. However, it needs to be on a level playing field.

“Seafront businesses only make money four months of the year – it takes their vitality away if you have a business with no overheads that only shows up on a nice day.”

Cllr John Dyson said the only place where this could be appropriate would be completely out of view on the far western end of the beach – but he could not support the principle of any vehicle on the beach.

And Cllr Graham Liverton added that it would be out of place on the beach but an asset on Mutters Moor, where a similar business previously existed, and he applauded the applicant’s business accumen.

“When people come to Sidmouth seafront they say it’s like stepping back 20 years – to me that’s a compliment,” he said. “This is not suitable for Sidmouth.

“[Mutters Moor] is somewhere I’m sure everyone would be glad of a cup of coffee. If they were to reapply I think this council would look on it favourably.”

The members unanimously voted a lack of support for the application.

The decision will be taken by an East Devon District Council portfolio holder.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:30

Sidmouth beach huts hike: ‘If you don’t believe me, take a look at transformation strategy’

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30

The Axe Vale Orchestra will present a concert in Seaton Methodist Church, on Sunday, February 14, at 3pm.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:01
Julie Davies (pictured) and Jenny Velterop are calling for rethink on unfair changes to women's pensions

More than 145,000 people have signed national petition to make transitional arrangements fair

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00
Typhoon pilot Jonathan Dowen at the Sid Valley Rotary club's black tie dinner. Ref shs 05-16TI 0144. Picture: Terry Ife

Charity event organised by Sid Valley Rotary Club raises £8,000

Read more
Yesterday, 15:15
A rare  Baird’s Sandpiper landing  at Seaton Wetlands. Picture: SUE SMITH

Action-packed programme of outdoor activities

Read more
Yesterday, 14:44
View of Sidmouth seafront. Picture: Alex Walton. Ref Sidmouth view 1

Free pancakes, Newton Pop panto and Sidmouth’s Got Talent

Read more
Yesterday, 14:35
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service badge

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has served up some safety tips for East Devon residents ahead of Pancake Day tomorrow (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 14:16
Devon County Council is planning to close Green Close Care Home to cut costs

Firm’s interest in Devon County Council-owned Green Close in Sidford

Read more
Yesterday, 11:40
East Devon District Council Chief Executive Mark Williams.

East Devon District Council’s top officer has drawn criticism for a comment he made about Sidmouth at a meeting on the authority’s development blueprint.

Read more
Debra and Gary Tennant from West Hill Garage are concerned about the length of time the road will remain shut between the village and Ottery St Mary. Ref sho 05-16SH 3672. Picture: Simon Horn

Business suffering as route set to stay closed ‘until further notice’

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications