Beachfront cafe may have to retreat

A CAFÉ left hanging over a beach because the shore below has been dramatically washed away may be moved to a new site for safety reasons, it was revealed today.

A CAFÉ left hanging over a beach because the shore below has been dramatically washed away may be moved to a new site for safety reasons, it was revealed today.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, the Shore Break cafe at Felixstowe would be taken apart and rebuilt on dry land.

But the owners are not happy with the alternative site being offered - the grounds of the fire-ravaged Herman de Stern centre.

With the centre set to be demolished and its site cleared, it would leave the café with an uncertain future, with no guarantees at present it could return to the beach.

The Shore Break is suspended more than seven feet over the beach. More action has been taken this week to reinforce the structure with more supports underneath, and avoid it having to close for safety reasons at high tide.

Owner Andy Mexome said it had been suggested the property could be moved to the Herman de Stern or the seafront gardens.

Most Read

It was hoped to have talks soon with Suffolk Coastal officials and councillors about the future.

“As yet nothing has been decided, but we would want any new site to be of the same ilk as we have now - one which had the same outlook and close proximity to the sea, which is what we enjoy at the moment,” he said.

He was concerned moving to the Herman de Stern's grounds would mean passing trade would be lost and the building could be at greater risk of vandalism.

“At the moment we are waiting for the council to come back to us with proposals,” he added.

Doreen Savage, a member of Suffolk Coastal's cabinet, told the town's youth forum moving the building was a possibility.

“It is a very popular facility and we want to do all we can to help keep it going, but we have to make sure it is in a safe place and is safe for the public to use, especially with the state of the beach at present,” she said.

The council is seeking £5 million government grant aid for a sea defence scheme for the southern part of the resort, where not only the café but more than 1,600 homes, three caravan sites, a school, tourist attractions and Britain's top port - property worth more than £400m - could be at risk. The prom is also under threat of collapse.

Cabinet member Andy Smith said talks with Defra - which has refused to give help this year - had gone well and negotiations were continuing.

Do you think the Shore Break should be moved? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter