November 27 2014 Latest news:
Monday, May 12, 2014
A Ford Transit fire engine will be converted into a ‘coffee van’ operating on Sidmouth beach if an application for a new seafront concession is given the go-ahead.
The district council has been asked to give permission to a venture, proposed for a spot of shingle to the western end of the Esplanade, that would run until the end of the summer season.
In her application, Mrs Laura Manley says such concessions are ‘commonplace’ on South West beaches.
She adds that the venture would ‘add to the overall beach tourist offer, attracting new visitors and boosting the economy of the town’.
Mrs Manley wants to convert a 1978 vintage Ford Transit fire engine into ‘The Emergency Shot’ coffee van.
“This quirky and original vehicle is in excellent condition and, fitted with a canvas canopy, would provide a focal point at the west end of the beach,” she says.
The concession would be open daily until September 31, depending on the weather, from 10am to 6pm.
The van would be driven on and off the beach each day.
Passing comment, East Devon District Council’s StreetScene manager wants to be satisfied that the concession will not lead to extra beach litter and has asked what methods will be taken to stop oil leaking onto the beach from the vehicle.
“The idea is interesting and adds something to the seafront offer, however, the example photos of vintage coffee vans [in the application] are more in keeping with the Regency style of Sidmouth seafront than the transit van proposed,” he adds.
There is also a parking by-law that prohibits vehicles on the beach, according to the manager, and any permission must not encourage others to break the rules.
Sidmouth Town Council has been asked to comment on the application and members will do so at a meeting on Monday.