COUNCIL plans to expand a beach front café have been approved despite some reservations.

Planning officers at Bournemouth council raised concern about the increased size proposed for the Prom Café in Pier Approach, saying it would "limit the width of the pedestrian route in front, which is already constrained by seating and street furniture".

Concern was also expressed that the re-shaped building would "jut out beyond the building line on the western side creating a dark, uninviting corner".

However officers concluded that the extension was justified since it is no greater than the space currently taken up by outdoor seating in the summer.

The council says the work is "essential" to meet rising demand, with 25 per cent of the café’s income now taken during the winter months.

It says it plans to carry out the work prior to the summer.

The borough says turnover for Pier Approach-based businesses has risen by 24 per cent since it’s multi-million pound Pier Approach revamp was completed last year.

A statement submitted with the planning application said: “Completion of the well-received public realm improvements in Pier Approach has seen a rise in both the profile of the area and in the dwell time of the residents and visitors it attracts.

“The area has since seen a 24 per cent increase in turnover since the Pier Approach public realm improvements were completed in March 2017.

“This has generated significant increased business for The Prom Café, particularly outside of the summer season with 25 per cent of income taken over the winter months.

“The proposed extension to the café, which is essential to accommodate this rise in trade and offer exceptional visitor service, will continue to make use of the high-quality material and the key aesthetical palette already implemented throughout the public realm and incorporated into the shelter and tourist information centre.”

Further additions planned for the area include an adventure golf centre on the former Imax cinema site and a ‘living wall’ of plants along the flyover.