A NEW alternative plan to replace a seafront cafe which was destroyed by a fire has been unveiled by the venue's operators.

BCP Council has already obtained permission from its own planning department to carry out a like-for-like replacement of the Beach House Cafe at Mudeford Sandbank.

This was after the local authority's initial plan to deliver a larger building on the site was met with a huge backlash from the community.

However, the proprietors of the seafood restaurant have now revealed an alternative to make "better use of the space".

The Beach House team has created 'Project Beach House' due to their belief a like-for-like rebuild is a "wasted opportunity".

They described the old building as a "hodgepodge", adding it had "no architectural merit, operational limitations and no aesthetic value".

Project Beach House is working with DMW Architects. The team said their aim is to make a better use of the space while creating a "visually more attractive" building that fits the surroundings of the Mudeford Sandbank.

Rich Slater, project manager for Project Beach House, said: "We have been pushing to get this done since the day it burnt down in 2018.

"This gives us a chance to go completely back to a blank piece of paper on how do we make the best use of the site.

"We want as much feedback as possible. The more we get the more we can get a design everybody likes."

Mr Slater said if the alternative obtains planning permission, the team will sit down and negotiate with the local authority over the situation with which plan should be progressed.

He said the Project Beach House plan was designed to be financially efficient, with the build cost similar to that of the like-for-like replacement.

A project plan document by DMW Architects says: "The replacement building will be a positive asset to the spit, providing a practical, appropriately scaled and harmonious addition to the peninsula and surrounding Christchurch Harbour."

The current cafe company has operated at the site for around 18 years and the operators have a long-term lease with the council.

Bournemouth Echo: Alternative plan for the site. Picture: DMW ArchitectsAlternative plan for the site. Picture: DMW Architects

Mr Slater said: "We have gone through all the objections raised to the alternative design proposed by BCP and endeavoured to come up with a design that is sympathetic to the points raised, as well as enabling us to offer a better service than before.”

Following the fire in November 2018, the Beach House has operated an open air food and drink venue using converted shipping containers to offer seafood, pizza and a beach bar as well as the vital shop for beach essentials.

Bournemouth Echo: The site after the fire in 2018The site after the fire in 2018

The Project Beach House plan can be viewed online at beachhouse.cafe, with a page to leave feedback on the design.