Seathorpe Espresso: Southend Council takes enforcement action

A coffee kiosk set up in a front garden without a building permit will have to be removed.

Councilors voted 13 to 1 in favor of taking enforcement action against the one-story kiosk at 193 Eastern Esplanade, Southend.

Southend’s Development Oversight Committee learned on Wednesday that a retrospective planning request had been denied and another has since been submitted.

But council officials recommended enforcement action despite the latest demand because of the “significant damage” the makeshift company had caused to neighbors in terms of noise and trespassing.

Speaking at the meeting, Ward Councilor Ron Woodley said: “I totally and totally support the officers’ recommendation.

“As a municipality, we cannot allow businesses to be built in gardens without a building permit at the expense of the amenities of neighboring properties.

“I saw myself and also took pictures which I provided to the planning department in terms of the problems this caused to his neighbors.

Councilors were concerned the company was unregulated, not subject to commercial tariffs and may not follow hygiene rules, and urged relevant city departments to investigate.

Shoebury advisor Steven Wakefield added: “They probably make a really good cup of coffee, but we all have rules to follow. They broke the rules and moved on.

The execution action is likely to take enough time for the last planning application to be heard and examined on its merits.

The structure was built early last year.

Neighbors first filed complaints in March and April before city council ordered the owner in writing to submit a retrospective planning request.

In June, Applicant Beverley Clarke submitted her plans for the kiosk, to serve drinks and food from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays.

Due to the house’s set back position, the front garden appears across the street as a space between the Beach Hotel at 192 and a house at 195.

In October, the council rejected the request, with councilors saying the development was out of place and created concentrations of people, noise and disruption, harming the peace and privacy of neighbors.

About Michael C. Lovelace

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