Pier architects design new seafront eatery

A NEW circular-shaped restaurant providing up to 40 jobs will open on Weston’s seafront next year following approval by district leaders.

The planning application for the two-storey Italian eatery on the site of the former Tourist Information Centre was approved by members of a North Somerset Council planning committee last week.

The decision means that developers Alistair Mead and Giulio Ellis can start work on the rotunda-style restaurant in September, with a targeted opening for next spring.

Mr Mead told the Mercury: “This will be an excellent addition to Weston’s seafront, replacing an aged building with a new, vibrant-looking restaurant.

“We’re all excited about the development and look forward to progress being made.”

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The pair’s proposal, however, had to overcome opposition from some councillors on the south area planning committee who feared the restaurant was too big.

At the meeting on June 16, Cllr Mike Bell said: “I am not opposed to development at the site, but I have real concerns about the scale of this development in this location.Its scale is inappropriate for the site and it is not in keeping with the surrounding conservation area.”

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However, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees countered: “We have got the right-sized building proposed and in terms of detail we can all have different views - it is about trying to find a compromise.

“I think this is the icing on the cake for Pier Square.”

The application had also received objections from nearby traders who feared the restaurant’s impact on their businesses.

But commercial competition is not a valid reason for refusing planning decision.

The Tourist Information Centre, built in 1972, was closed and the service moved to the Winter Gardens as part of the Pier Square redevelopment.

The move presented an opportunity for town businessmen Mr Mead and Mr Ellis, who quickly proposed a restaurant for the site.

They have maintained the building, designed by architects Angus Meek, will not become a venue for late-night drinking and have said last meal orders will be at 10pm.

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