Plans to remove a shelter at Shoalstone Pool in Brixham and install 21 beach huts have been given the go ahead by Torbay Council.
The project also involves creating two outside seating areas for the ‘Shoals’ Cafe: one on its roof and the other on the nearby green.
The land, owned by Torbay Council, is rented to Brixham Town Council and the site of the cafe is sublet to Shoals.
It covers three main areas including the Shoalstone Pool and associated green space on Brixham seafront.
Some neighbours have complained about the plans, with concerns about replacing an area of grass with gravel to form a seating area for Shoals.
Others questioned the removal of the existing seating shelter from the green to install 21 beach huts against the hedge to the south.
Chair of Shoalstone Pool, Jessica Stock, spoke at Torbay Council’s planning committee on Monday to answer concerns.
“We are already in the process of putting a seating area on the green,” she said.
“Those perhaps who know the Shoalstone site from many years ago, [will know] there are picnic benches and there are six hard standings on the green.
“In fact, that order has gone in for these seats. And if we didn’t have a shortage of steel, I understand, for these steel benches and picnic tables they would have been in a lot earlier.”
No councillors spoke against the plans but some raised questions about security.
Conservative member for Roundham with Hyde, Cllr Barbara Lewis said “It states in there that the existing shelter is past it sell-by date, basically, and it’s been vandalised and everything else.
“So, if you’re going to put 20 beach huts along there, are you going to have CCTV there for antisocial behaviour?”
Ms Stock replied: “There is already CCTV on site that’s gone in this year.
“There is a camera which looks down that pathway. So, we can see people coming in.”
Most councillors were positive about the plans. Cllr Chris Lewis (Cons, Preston) said: “I’d like to congratulate Shoalstone Pool. I remember, about 15 years ago, when there was fear that the Shoalstone Pool would actually close.
“And I’m delighted that through doing this sort of action, it can be self-funding and manned by the community.
“I think it’s a lesson for other people in the bay of how to make things work without necessarily needing the council to finance it.”
Other concerns raised by the public in the planning consultation process include;
Object to loss of green area for seating. They suggested a lift would be better
- Right of way compromised by seating area
- Loss of seating shelter and public access
- Beach huts deterring public access to the green area as it will be ‘owned’ by hut renters
- Seating on roof does not have planning approval
- Potential interference of footpath users, waiting staff and customers
- Illuminations, adversely impacting bats
Councillors approved the plans, subject to some conditions, meaning the project can now go ahead.
Torbay Weekly Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.