New pavilion café for Southend Pier

A new pavilion café is set to be built on Southend Pier providing refreshments with sweeping sea views to thousands of visitors.

Southend Council’s department of culture and tourism has commissioned plans for a new building near the pier entrance to provide “light refreshments with a fun element”.

The building will have a west facing roof terrace accessible to the public with steps which will double up as seating with views towards Leigh and Canvey.

There will be a kiosk-style window for serving ice creams, and on the ground floor there will be large glass patio doors opening onto a terrace facing south.

A wheelchair lift will provide access to the roof for disabled visitors.

The rectangular building with one curved corner will have an outside seating area with a glazed balustrade facing the shore.

In its application for planning permission, the council’s property and estate management team said: “The department of culture and tourism requested that we put forward ideas for a building that could provide light refreshment while having a fun element.

“Out of this the idea for a small pavilion emerged.

“As part of the scheme, possible future development on this part of the Pier was considered. The building is to provide a sheltered area and serve light refreshments.

“This will be hot and cold drinks and snacks. It will not provide hot meals and as such it will not have a fully fitted out commercial kitchen.

“The rooftop is to be used as public space. The ability to view sunsets is seen as important.

“Toilets will not be provided due to the close proximity of the new toilet block currently being built.”

Recently the pier entrance was enlarged and improved to allow ease of access for the public. A new toilet block to the sea end of the pier is about to start construction, whilst repairs to the cast iron structure are ongoing.

Cllr Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, said: “We’re refurbishing the sea end of the pier and with the new trains and the pavilion we are making it better than it was..”

The pier is used as the TV set for Jamie Oliver’s TV show which is filmed in what was once the Pier Cafe.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter