Temporary cafe plan axed after developer asked for extra cash and a longer lease

PLANS to put up a temporary replacement cafe on the site of the old Wish Tower restaurant have been scrapped by Eastbourne Borough Council after the developer asked the authority for more cash and a longer lease.

Earlier this year the council’s planning committee agreed to demolish the old building and rubber-stamped a proposal to build a short term alternative in its 

The firm behind those plans, Tonik, released artist’s impressions of what the new cafe would look like, complete with a string of pods for serving food and drink from and undercover and open air seating.

However, an email sent out by the council earlier this week revealed those plans had hit a snag after Tonik asked to have the site for longer than the original deal as well as a reported £150,000 extra in council cash to help finance the scheme.

The newsletter, which was sent to the Gazette, said, “Tonik, the successful bidder for the temporary catering offer on the Wish Tower site, subsequently revised their proposals following the decision to grant planning consent.

“Their request for a longer lease and greater capital funding from the council was not considered acceptable.”

The upshot now is that the site will stay empty for the near future.

The council’s cabinet has a meeting scheduled for October and the future of the Wish Tower area will be on the agenda.

The local authority is now waiting for another developer to come forward with a viable plan for the seafront site.

The initial hope had been that the temporary arrangement would be up in time to catch the tail-end of this year’s summer season.