Objections to village “brew in a loo” plan

Date: Friday 24th February 2017

TOURISTS could soon be stopping for cake and a cuppa in a revamped public toilet. Lake District National Park Authority planners are recommending approval of a plan to change the use of the council-run public convenience at Beech Croft, Braithwaite, into a tearoom, incorporating a public toilet.

However, a number of objections have been lodged to the proposal, which is why it is on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting of the authority’s development control committee meeting.

However, in a report to the meeting, planning officers say the proposal will lead to the creation of a cafe which will increase the range of, and supplement, the existing provision of services and facilities in the village.

But this view is not shared by objectors. They claim it will not foster the economic wellbeing of the local community.

The application, which has been submitted by David Bell, involves a change of use of the small white, roughcast rendered building in the village. At present, it is owned by Allerdale Borough Council and is being sold “as part of the council’s rationalisation”. There is a requirement that a public convenience is retained.

The cafe will be able to accommodate between 32 and 36 covers indoors and will have an average 41 patrons per day — taking into account seasonal variations. It will serve soup, baked potatoes, sandwiches, pastries, cakes and hot drinks.

Although the plan has the support of the Above Derwent Parish Council, objectors have raised issues about design, highway safety and flood risk, and they claim the village does not need a cafe as people can get refreshments in plenty of places in Braithwaite and Whinlatter.

The objectors fear it will undermine other food outlets and, in years to come, end up as a holiday let.