AN architect has agreed to consider scaling back plans for a “floating” restaurant on Southend seafront after councillors rejected the design over its size.
APS Design Associates will discuss changing its plans to transform the single-storey KJ’s cafe near the Genting Club in Western Esplanade, Westcliff, intoamodern restaurant projecting over the foreshore, to give the impression it is floating when the tide is in.
Southend Council voted 13 to three to refuse the modern restaurant, over fears it would block sea views, but planning officers offered to discuss the design with the architect.
Paul Seager, director at the Southend-based firm, said: “They want to chat to us about reducing the scale, but, in general, the responses of the councillors were relatively favourable.
“We will be happy to discuss a way to move forward with it, but in light of planning officers’ appraisal of the plans, we want them to consider the councillors’ positive comments.”
The restaurant, which would have an open-air upper deck and terrace, sparked lively debate with several councillors praising its design.
A resident of Alexandra Road, who asked not to be named, spoke against the plan, calling for the seafront’s character to be preserved.
He said: “The application we object to today is one of a number of examples of modern buildings being put up to replace old character kiosks.
“I know some of them are looking a little tired, but they only need a bit of TLC to bring them back to their former glory.”
Conservative councillor for Chalkwell Stephen Habermel said: “I would certainly be against the roof terrace.
“The footprint is probably going to double in size.”
Fellow Tory Chalkwell coucnillor Ian Robertson said: “This is an imaginative design, well thought through, but it’s in the wrong place."
Brian Ayling, Independent councillor for St Luke’s, said: “As we develop our glorious seafront, we need developments like this.”