Around 130 residents of Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex have signed a letter to prospective operators at the yet-to-open BeachBox development, advising them of local opposition to the proposed venue.
The letter said many residents felt that the concerns of the community "had not been addressed, and indeed appear to have been ignored".
The signatories said they were not opposed to the redevelopment of the site into a smaller restaurant or café, which they said would be "more appropriate to the area", described as a "quiet, little visited residential area with minimal traffic and only local footfall", adjacent to a designated local nature reserve.
Locals said they have "repeatedly" sought engagement on the venue, which is set to be three storeys and larger than the toilet block it is replacing, creating a building which "many feel completely overpowers the beach huts and houses surrounding it".
The letter also said a Zoom consultation on the site's provisional licence application last month did "nothing to address concerns over noise, traffic impact, litter and the general operation of the site, especially the hours proposed for the sale of alcohol on site, and for takeaway".
Planning permission for the scheme was granted by Adur & Worthing Council in October 2019. The 10,000sq ft development will include a 4,200sq ft restaurant, 4,000sq ft of space on the lower ground floor for community hire and to host events and activities, and a 2,000sq ft terrace.
The restaurant's maximum opening hours would be 7am-11pm (10pm on Sundays). The website said the venue has already had "some strong interest" from operators.
A statement from the team behind BeachBox said: "Since winning the bid to deliver this project in 2017, we at BeachBox Developments have been completely open and transparent about our plans for the site. It should be made clear that this is a BeachBox Developments project and is completely separate to Boxpark. Boxpark will not be operating the site and has no role or involvement in this site.
"Our website includes details on how we have engaged with the local community and the feedback from six consultation events and links to responses to a household questionnaire survey undertaken by the emerging Neighbourhood Plan Forum for this site We have also undertaken a formal planning consultation process, following which the scheme was granted planning consent in November 2019. We have now submitted a provisional statement for a licensed premise which is undergoing a 28-day statuary consultation period where comments can be made on the application.
"In advance of submitting our application for a provisional statement for a licensed premise, we held two webinar-based consultation exercises on 23 June 2021 and published a summary on the website which has detailed response to the concerns raised about noise management, litter, traffic and how the tenant will operate.
"Although the Covid-19 pandemic meant that we had to pause our development plans over 2020 and the early part of 2021, our commitment to the project has not wavered and with lockdown restrictions coming to end, we are putting in place measures to accelerate the development of our plans following determination of our application for a provisional statement for a licensed premises.
"Residents and members of SBRA have given valuable input throughout the consultation process and we have worked hard with the local community on the design process. We have always listened to and been considerate of the local sentiment and have adapted the design during the process. We remain excited in delivering this project and are confident that our plans will transform this site into a cafe/restaurant and community space for all the local residents."
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