Seafront café kiosk set to be removed

A café kiosk set up in a Southend front garden without planning permission will have to be removed.

Councillors voted 13 to one in favour of taking enforcement actions against the single-storey kiosk at 193 Eastern Esplanade, Southend.

Southend’s development control committee heard on Wednesday that a retrospective planning application had been refused and another has since been submitted.

But council officers recommended enforcement action despite the latest application because of the “significant harm” the makeshift business had caused to neighbours in terms of noise and intrusion.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Ron Woodley said: “I totally and utterly support the officers’ recommendation.

“We cannot as a council allow businesses to be built in gardens without planning permission to the detriment to the amenities of the neighbouring properties.

“I’ve seen myself and also taken photographs which I’ve supplied to the planning department in terms of the problems this has caused to its neighbours.”

Councillors feared the business would be unregulated, not liable for business rates and may not be adhering to hygiene rules and urged the relevant council departments to investigate.

Shoebury councillor, Steven Wakefield, added: “They probably make a really nice cup of coffee but we all have rules to adhere to. They have flouted the rules and just gone ahead.”

The enforcement action is likely to take long enough for the latest planning application to be heard and considered on its merits.

The structure was built at the beginning of last year. Neighbours first raised complaints in March and April before the council issued a written order for the owner to submit a retrospective planning application.

In June, applicant Beverley Clarke submitted her plans for the kiosk, to serve drinks and food from 8am to 6pm seven days a week, including bank holidays.

Due to the set back position of the home, the front garden appears in the street as a gap between the Beach Hotel at 192 and a home at 195.

In October the council refused the application, with councillors stating the development was out of place and created concentrations of people, noise and disturbance, harming neighbour’s peace and privacy


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter