Hove Seafront Café could be demolished and replaced with a larger one

A SEAFRONT cafe could be demolished and replaced with a larger building with indoor seating and a rooftop terrace.

The Meeting Place Café on King’s Esplanade, Hove currently has outdoor seating and plastic windbreaks, with no indoor spaces other than the kitchen and serving area.

The proposed 18-foot-tall single-story replacement would seat 124 people — 88 inside and 36 on the rooftop.

But — as with Rockwater further west — objections have raised concerns about the lack of access to the roof for people with disabilities.

The Argus: An Artist's Rendering of the Proposed BuildingAn artist’s rendering of the proposed building

Hikmet Tabak, 61, Director of The Meeting Place Ltd, who presented the plans to Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “The proposal would replace the existing cafe, which is somewhat dated and tired looking.

“Although it has a larger footprint, the development will remove the outdoor seating area to the west of the cafe.

“This area is surrounded by plastic windbreaks which, along with tables, chairs and umbrellas, make an incongruous and unattractive addition to the streetscape.”

The Beach Access Team Brighton and Hove (BAT), a group campaigning for improved beach access for the disabled, was among a number of objectors criticizing the lack of a lift.

The group said: “BAT opposes the development as people with reduced mobility cannot access the upper floor roof terrace.

“The developer has not included a changing toilet which would benefit many disabled people who need such facilities.

“The nearest public changing area by the sea is either in the new Shelter Hall, or further east at Volk’s Colonnade, or to the west…more than ten miles away at Worthing.”

Other comments in favor of the scheme also raised concerns about the inaccessible roof terrace.

One person said: “I support the idea of ​​redevelopment. I’m basically for the design. I feel it should be possible to add a small elevator to the room to make it more accessible.

“As long as access is possible for most people, I’m all for it.”

Another commenter said: “This new building looks really ugly and doesn’t match the seafront at all.

“It’s way too big and will overshadow the Statue of Peace. It should go with this beautiful piece of Brighton history.

“I am also very concerned about the lack of facilities for people with disabilities. I can’t understand how anyone can consider such a development without even thinking about adding a lift or otherwise accommodating the needs of people with disabilities.”

Mr Tabak said the new building would preserve the “important nature of the reserve”.

His agent Luke Carter of Lewis and Co Planning said the design complied with building codes.

Mr Carter said: “If the planners find it prudent to insist on a passenger lift, the planning committee may add a condition.

“It’s too small. There’s no indoor seating. They’ve seen what happened to a seedy cafe in Rockwater and they want the same thing.

“We’re going to build a modern cafe that’s more in keeping with the Brighton seafront of today rather than something early 90’s.”

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20284894.hove-seafront-cafe-demolished-replaced-bigger-one/?ref=rss Hove Seafront Café could be demolished and replaced with a larger one

Fry Electronics Team

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