Uh-oh! It’s time for Tele Tower

Artist impression of Wish Tower replacement, Eastbourne.
Artist impression of Wish Tower replacement, Eastbourne.

This artist’s impression shows what Eastbourne Borough Council plans to put on the seafront as a temporary replacement for the soon to be demolished Wish Tower restaurant – and it looks likely to be plonked on the iconic Western Lawns.

Councillors last week agreed to knock down the much-maligned cafe – but were roundly criticised for approving the demolition without already having a replacement up their sleeve.

However, the local authority has since released these images which show what councillors hope will provide a summer-long stop-gap.

A spokesman has confirmed the council is already in talks with a supplier to step in.

And if it goes ahead, the scheme could be left in place for anything up to two years while the council waits for a third party to come forward with plans to revamp the site.

The design, which has been likened to the home of kids TV favourites the Teletubbies, will include pods for serving drinks and preparing food and a host of seats, both undercover and open air.

Plans are still very much in the early stages and a full, detailed application would have to go before the council’s planning committee for approval, but it is expected that the facility will be in place ready for the busy summer rush.

However, with the existing restaurant unable to be knocked down until English Heritage gives the demolition its approval and the site ready to be transformed into an archeological dig site, it is unlikely the temporary replacement will be put on the current building’s footprint.

And that opens the very real possibility that it will instead be housed on the hugely popular Western Lawns, something which will no doubt upset some locals.

Council spokesman Neil Stanley, who heads up the town hall leisure and tourism team, said, “We are pleased to be working with an established company with strong links to Eastbourne to create a tasteful yet modern design that we believe will complement the Martello tower while also ensuring there is a temporary café offer on this important tourism site.

“We are still investigating the best location for the temporary offer which we hope will be operational as soon as possible.”