Stranded cafe told to shut

OWNERS of a café hanging precariously over Felixstowe's eroded seashore were today told to shut it down - amid fears it could collapse or be swept away by the waves.

OWNERS of a café hanging precariously over Felixstowe's eroded seashore were today told to shut it down - amid fears it could collapse or be swept away by the waves.

Council chiefs said the popular Shore Break café has been told to close its doors because of doubts about safety for the public following the recent damage to the prom.

The building is to be removed next week to allow workers to carry out emergency works to protect the sea wall underneath the cafe.

The cafe rests on girders supported at the rear by the prom and at the front on stilts on the beach.

Suffolk Coastal said experts felt the structure was no longer safe, despite the recent addition of extra scaffolding.

“The council has worked closely with the Shore Break over the last few weeks to try to keep this important facility open but we must now admit that we have been defeated by the weather and the failure of the government to fund our sea defence plans,” said cabinet member Andy Smith.

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“Council officers have informed the owner of the café and its tenant manager that in the interests of public safety the café must close now and that the structure needs to be removed by Friday, June 2 to enable the works to proceed.

“Our temporary works to shore up the beach wall mean that we will need to put in rocks along probably a 400 metre stretch of the sea wall, including that under the Shore Break.

“We must therefore get it out of the way so we can safeguard the promenade, the sea wall and the 1,600 homes and countless businesses in south Felixstowe.”

Experts took a fresh look at the Shore Break after the damage caused to the sea wall on Saturday. The engineer working for the café's owner agreed with the council's view that public access to the café should be prohibited.

Mr Smith said: “The engineers tell us that as the café is supported on the wall it is possible that a collapse of the café could damage the wall or vice versa.

“There can sadly be no doubt that the café must now close. We have held off taking this action until we have been left with no choice as we did not want to see the closure of a local business and the loss of a facility well liked and used by residents and tourists alike. However we must now act to protect public safety.”

The café site is licenced by the council to Andy Mexome, who owns the building, and rents the café to Steve Bloomfield. Neither were available for comment today.

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