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Cllr Huntley leading fight to retain last community venue in Bigbury-on-Sea

April 26, 2018 6:34 AM

Residents in Bigbury-on-Sea are fighting hard to prevent demolition of the oldest house in the village and the former Bay View Café.

Developers Galion are seeking to demolish it to replace with 4 new houses.

Local Lib Dem Councillor Beth Huntley campaigned with villagers against demolition in December, but since then the developer has resubmitted plans to try and win the planners over with drawings that include a cafe underneath one of the four houses.

Villagers are determined not to lose the only asset that hasn't yet been stripped from them. In the last few years the parish has lost two village shops and a pub as developers seek to build more and more houses close to the sea.

"We've nowhere to go to meet up anymore. All around us everything's been closed down, how can we keep our community spirit alive? said Cllr Huntley.

At a recent Parish Council meeting Cllr Huntley said the community is now seeking to raise £250,000-£300,000 to add to the £550,000-£650,000 already pledged, to make an offer to Galion near the amount they paid (£950,000) so they sell the site and not demolish it. It is believed Galion would sell.

Galion have said that if the café were demolished while planning battles continue, no hoardings will be put up around the site and it will re-seeded with grass - which will effectively create a field in middle of Bigbury-on-Sea, which could then become a target for another developer. Bay View Cafe

Locals and visitors have enjoyed cream teas and meals at the Bay View Cafe for over a century, while drinking in its fabulous view across the changing tide and beach to Burgh Island.

Lib Dem councillors Keith Baldry and Julian Brazil joined the community at the three-day hearing just before Christmas to help make a last stand to save the café and Warren Cottage from demolition, while Cllr Huntley was out of the country.

They won the appeal against demolition and had the café listed as an Asset of Community Value status.