Seafront rotunda set for green light

PUBLISHED: 07:16 15 June 2011 | UPDATED: 11:51 15 June 2011




AN 'ARCHITECTURALLY interesting' restaurant is tomorrow (Thurs) expected to be approved for the former tourist information centre site on Weston seafront.

North Somerset Council’s south area committee is due to meet tomorrow evening, with planning officers recommending approval for the ‘landmark’ application.

The tourist centre was built in 1972 but closed – and the service moved to the Winter Gardens – as part of the Pier Square redevelopment last year.

This left a prime seafront site up for grabs, and it now looks set for a new life as a high class restaurant run by Weston businessmen Alistair Mead and Giulio Ellis.

The duo want to build a two-storey Italian eatery, and have selected a rotunda design put together by architects Angus Meek, who also created the Grand Pier.

Despite prompting a handful of objections lodged by nearby traders and Weston Town Council, citing fears over impact on other businesses, the blueprint seems to have impressed council officer Andrew Stevenson.

His report, due to be presented to councillors tomorrow, recommends the project be allowed to go ahead.

The report said: “The approved development brief for the site seeks an architecturally interesting building on the site which can act as a focal point to the redeveloped Pier Square.

“It is considered that the circular footprint of the building and use of high quality materials with a high proportion of glazing will meet this aim and result in a distinctive landmark building on the site.”

Although Pier Square is a conservation area, the report argues the new building could have a positive impact on both landscape and appeal.

Mr Stevenson concludes: “The replacement of the existing TIC with the proposed rotunda building will… (improve) the entertainment, leisure, tourist and recreation attraction of Weston.

“(It) would not result in an unacceptable impact on the character or appearance of the conservation area or on the living conditions of nearby residents.”

If approved, the rotunda could open as early as next spring and create up to 40 jobs.

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