Eastbourne council vows to demolish Wish Tower Cafe

The kitchen at the Wish Tower Cafe where equipment has been removed, the false ceiling torn down and metal trunking removed.
The kitchen at the Wish Tower Cafe where equipment has been removed, the false ceiling torn down and metal trunking removed.

THE WISH Tower Cafe on Eastbourne seafront is to be demolished as soon as possible.

The eatery has already been declared derelict and the bill for refurbishing it is a huge £400,000.

Wish Tower Cafe

Wish Tower Cafe

But this week’s high winds and torrential rain saw a large part of the roof blow away.

On Wednesday night, council bosses said the seafront premises should be demolished as soon as possible because of its current dilapidated condition.

The building is council-owned but was run by lessees until October this year when, after a long and bitter legal battle, it was handed back to the council in a seriously rundown state.

Council bosses were looking into the possibility of refurbishing the building in partnership with Sussex Downs College for a short-term catering opportunity for students or leasing it to a private caterer on a short-term lease.

But at a meeting of Eastbourne Borough Council’s decision-making Cabinet committee on Wednesday night, tourism chief Tracey McNulty told councillors that because of the huge public interest and the state of the building, it should be demolished straight away.

Ms McNulty said, “We now understand the costs for refurbishment to be in the region of £400,000 so I would urge councillors to commission the immediate demolition of the premises.

“Because of safety concerns it is recommended that the works are commissioned and carried out as soon as possible.”

It will cost the council £53,000 to demolish the building and more money will have to be spent on landscaping the area. Officers will continue working on plans to develop a signature restaurant on the site.

Council leader David Tutt said, “Demolition will be immediate. We are taking action now that will allow us to get the building down and we will immediately seek private investment.”

Opposition Conservative leader David Elkin said he understood the reasons for demolishing the building but was concerned about the time scale.

He said, “The seafront is Eastbourne’s front of house and we need to ensure that the front of house doesn’t stay half made for too long.”