The decision to reject a Ferring café’s expansion plans have been described as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘another wasted opportunity’ by readers.
The Bluebird Café in The Strand wanted permission for a two-storey extension to its existing building so it can provide extra seating and kitchen areas to cope with increasing demand.
But objectors raised concerns about the site’s access, parking and design, and the application was unanimously refused by Arun District Council’s development control committee yesterday (Wednesday February 13).
The majority of readers who commented on the Herald & Gazette’s Facebook pages opposed the council’s decision.
One reader felt the decision was ‘ridiculous’, adding: “The café would be employing more people plus a lot of the café users park at Goring Gap and walk with their dogs. It’s sad.”
Another Facebook user said: “It’s bursting at the seams, they must be doing something right? Plus the plans were to build on existing land owned by café...just seems madness not to allow it.”
Other comments described the decision as a ‘shame’, ‘another wasted opportunity’ and ‘sad’.
One comment read: “I think the plans would have been amazing and it’s a great shame.”
Several felt the café’s owners should appeal or resubmit amended plans, as one reader said: “So disappointing. Hope a compromise is reached.”
One person who uses the café said: “The expansion is obviously needed so I’d say don’t be defeated, just keep trying I know you’ll find a way”
Another added: “Just retry with a much less elaborate scheme, things are always rejected the first time, maybe the first few times even.”
The need to promote employment was another key theme for readers, while others argued the council had approved a number of greenfield housing developments with far greater impacts.
One said: “Seems ridiculous when so many ill-conceived housing developments have been given the green light on precious greenfield sites.”
However a handful of readers backed the decision.
One said: “The right decision. If you know Ferring, if you know what the access is like, if you don’t want to see the south of the village becoming a rat run like the north part is, if you know the car park and how there is room for only one car at a time, you would know that it is just not realistic, and not the best thing for Ferring.”
Another added: “It’s fine as it is and would lose character through development.”