A CONTROVERSIAL application to extend a cliff-top café has been granted despite a wave of opposition from residents.
The revised scheme to revamp Café Riva on Boscombe Overcliff Drive won unanimous approval from councillors at a planning board meeting.
Letters of objection were sent in by 25 residents protesting against the noise levels, parking problems and loss of sea views.
Vice chairman of the planning board, Cllr Ron Whittaker, said: “The single-storey extension was approved despite the letters of objection from residents.
“This is because it is a wonderful facility and the owners have been trying to have it extended for years.”
When the extension first appeared in front of the planning board in 2007, 98 letters of objection were presented along with 12 letters of support and a petition of 1,380 signatures backing the proposals Cllr Lynda Price said: “The application has been significantly reduced since 2007 and the new extension will not actually be any higher according to the plans, so the view shouldn’t be obscured any more than it already is.”
The closest residential properties are approximately 40m away on the northern side of Boscombe Overcliff Drive.
Ward Cllr John Wilson represented the residents at the meeting and voiced his concerns about the possibility of increased noise levels and parking problems.
He said: “The residents have been assured that the music and noise will be controlled as this was the main point of concern.”
The café is owned by the council and has been leased to the applicant until 2025.
Cafe Riva Director Rob Green said: “The extra space really is needed for the locals, plus we believe it will help the tourist trade. It will be much nicer and more spacious, so we will be able to serve a lot more customers.”