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Café 67 planning refusal

Cafe 67 shopfront

Café 67 shopfront

Mr Len Cook, owner of the premises where Café 67 trades has had his new shopfront planning application refused. And he’s not very happy about it.  The application was for work already carried out: the replacement of the aluminium shopfront with plastic double-glazed unit of the same pattern as the original.

In the letter of refusal, Hastings Council says ‘the appearance of this shop front is bulky and the white UPVC, including the stallrisers causes visual harm to, and is unsympathetic to the appearance of the building, the surrounding area and the street scene. Furthermore, the shop front is poorly related to and not in sympathy with the form and character of the building of which it forms a part.’

When appraised of this case, Cllr Andrew Cartwright said ‘In my experience, planning officers are helpful and perhaps the owners would benefit from a discussion with the development control manager, Ray Crawford. A planning application is a legal matter and it may be that the owners of the café should be seeking legal advice – they may be able to contest the Council’s decision with an appeal to the Secretary of State’.




Ann Adams writes (Oct 2007) Dear Sir, this new frontage replaced the old which was in bad repair and maybe could have caused an accident. If only the Council could give credit to the people who try to stay in business in Bohemia and look after their premises. After 28 years of trading I have watched Bohemia shops go down the pan. It’s about time the Council who are voted in by the people listened to the people. Give credit where it’s due. Other places in Bohemia are in bad repair but nothing is done. Ann Adams, Hassan Pet Supplies.

Bill Third writes (oct 200&) Dear Sir, So the white UPVC used in the new shop front for Café 67 causes ‘visual harm and is unsympathetic to the appearance of the building’. Unlike of course the nine UPVC windows which have been whacked into the front of Tower Buildings. Or the ‘shed’ that has been plonked down on the sea-front above the Marina Pavilion. The design was opposed by some heavyweight expert opinion including English Heritage, the Georgian Group, Burton-St Leonards society, etc. but their objections were ignored. The difference between these cases is that Mr. Len Cook is a private individual, while the perpetrators of the other two ‘conversions’ are the County Council, in the case of Tower Buildings and Seeda/Sea Space in the case of the ‘shed’. Of course we need to have planning authorities and permission for buildings and changes to buildings, but there seems to be one law for the Council and the unelected and undemocratic Seeda/Sea Space and another for the private individual. The most stunning example of this being when the former Labour council, but presumably the same planning department, adopted the megalomaniacal plan to build a hotel on the beach. When it was pointed out to them that use of the foreshore was regulated by acts of Parliament in 1892 and 1988, they were undeterred and pushed ahead. So far this combination of arrogance and incompetence is thought to have swallowed up £8,000,000 of public money in architects’ and consultants’ fees, including £2,000,000 on the ‘shed’ and the total re-design of the University Centre which Hastings College declared ‘not fit for purpose’ when the plans were presented. So why, with all these consultants, were the future users not consulted? Well, it’s only public money and since most of our rulers are not held to be responsible for any of the costly mistakes they make, why should we be surprised? Mr. Len Cook on the other hand is a small businessman providing a valuable service to residents and visitors to Bohemia. Like anyone else who manages to run a business successfully on Bohemia Road, he deserves a medal, or at least encouragement. Not discouragement, which is all the Council seems capable of dishing out with their zealous traffic wardens making business even tougher.  Bill Third, St Peter’s Road.

Mary Housman writes (Oct 2007) Dear Sir, I would like to express my views on the shopfront of 67 Bohemia Road. I understand that the Council has complained that it is out of character with the rest of the street. I would say that it actually adds character. It certainly is not out of place. Before the front was renovated, I suppose you could say it was more in keeping with some of the rest as it was dowdy and nondescript. Now it is smart and brightens up the street. I think it would be a great shame to alter it now. Bohemia Road needs a lot done to it to make it attractive so let’s start right here. Eileen Mary Housman, Lower South Road, Bohemia.

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