IMPORTANT work is set to begin next year where a popular café once stood for more than 70 years. 

A pumping station, retaining wall and sea defences will be removed near the former Middle Beach café site in Studland. 

Once a successful and popular café, the building was shut down and demolished in early 2023 after the National Trust ruled the cliff edge as becoming “unsafe”. 

As part of the planning application for demolition, Dorset Council told the trust, which owns the site, that it must clear debris within six months. 

Bournemouth Echo: Middle Beach cafe on its final day on January 2Middle Beach cafe on its final day on January 2 (Image: Daily Echo)

“All the debris from the demolition process has been removed from the site of the former Middle Beach Café,” a spokesperson for the trust has now confirmed. 

“The next phase of work is to remove the pumping station, retaining wall and sea defences. This will take place in 2024.” 

On higher ground in the car park, a new temporary café was parked in April following bids for a new contract.

Read more: Sadness as much-loved and historic Middle Beach café closes

Read more: Why the National Trust forced Middle Beach Cafe to close

This was awarded to James Warren, who opened his café The Sandy Salt Pig, a restaurant and butchery. 

The National Trust added: “The temporary café is licenced until 2026, and we are drawing up plans for a more permanent solution thereafter.” 

A Dorset Council spokesperson added: “The permission to operate a temporary catering facility from Middle Beach car park endures for three years until February 2026.” 

As reported, the National Trust said coastal erosion has had a “visible impact” and at high tide, there is very little beach left. 

Tracey Churcher, general manager of the National Trust at Purbeck, said earlier this year the trust has been “unable to prevent the impacts of climate change”. 

Bournemouth Echo: Retaining wall along the seafront in StudlandRetaining wall along the seafront in Studland (Image: Daily Echo)

But it’s not just rising sea levels being blamed: changing weather patterns of drought and then torrential rain have also contributed to cliff erosion. 

Middle Beach Café closed earlier on January 2 this year when business owner Paul Brown’s lease had expired. 

A loyal and loving customer base had formed over the decades and people from across the country came to say goodbye on its final day. 

It was a controversial decision by the National Trust, with many expressing their anger and threatening to cancel their membership.