PUBLIC comments have backed a proposal for a new coffee bar and ice cream kiosk at Shore Road, Swanage.

A planning request has been made to Dorset Council for the free-standing converted shipping container for a temporary period of five years.

Around twenty comments have been submitted on the proposal, only two negative.

The application comes from William Moy of Carve Coffee, based at the Prospect Business Park in the town, where he already runs a roastery which is open to the public. He says the 15 square metre unit, to be sited close to the seafront Tourist Information office and adjacent to the ramps leading up to the fun park, will have outdoor bench seating for up to 30 people in front of the unit.

At least four staff will be needed to run the business which will be open from 7.30am until 10.30pm in the summer and 7.30am to 5pm in the winter, opening on every day of the week, including public holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Sandwiches, filled bagels and cakes will be available in addition to coffee and ice cream, sourced locally where  possible.

The site, which is owned by Swanage Town Council, is within the town’s Conservation Area with Carve being offered a seven-year licence, subject to planning consent being granted.

When public comments on the proposal closed last week the overwhelming message was one of support although one Bay Crescent resident wrote to Dorset Council to formally object, saying the town already had enough coffee outlets in the area.

More typical was this from a High Street resident: “This will be fantastic for Swanage seafront. I fully support this application from local business Carve Coffee, they have the expertise, knowledge, drive and the best coffee in town to enable this project to be a success.”

Another, from Walrond Road, wrote: “The proposal will enhance the sea front. It will be great to sit somewhere nice to get good coffee and view of the sea. Has my full support.”

Another, a sea swimmer, said she was looking forward to it being open early in the morning, another adding that it was also likely to be popular with dog walkers and those out enjoying a morning stroll on the seafront.

Support has also come from the Purbeck Society which claims the change will improve the area although requests that space still be found for charity events which used to sometimes have stall in the area.

Said the Society “Our main concern is that midst all the current proposals for Sea Defences and the Green Seafront Stabilisation and Enhancement Scheme, there has been little attention paid to the desperately needed improvements to Shore Road and the Seafront itself to make it a more attractive and safe experience for our own residents and holiday makers alike. A holistic and integrated approach is needed for all these areas.”

A final decision on the application is expected to be made by a Dorset Council planning case officer.

Illustrations - How the coffee container might look