Tea room closure blow for east end of seafront
A TEA rooms offering the only visitor accommodation at the east end of Bexhill seafront is to close.
The Miramar, on De La Warr Parade, is set to become a residential property used mainly to care for foster children and adults with learning difficulties, after Rother District Council's planning committee approved the change of use application.
Planning officer Richard Wilson told members the occupancy rate of the Miramar, despite years of marketing, had stuck around a low 25 per cent.
Cllr Deirdre Williams, ward member for the Miramar, which recently featured in a De La Warr Pavilion publication about Bexhill's vintage shops, initially tried to block the change, raising concerns over losing the only rooms for tourists in the Galley Hill area.
"One would expect to have some kind of facility on the seafront.
"Down that end there's nothing. We talk about regenerating Bexhill but we are allowing these decision to be made," she said.
"It's not in a terribly good condition and needs some loving care spent on it but it's a facility that it would really be a shame to lose."
Cllr David Vereker said he did not want to see "useful tourist accomodation go down the pan", but Cllrs Wendy Miers and Martyn Forster spoke in favour of the building's new aims.
Cllr Miers said: "It's amongst other residents and its welcoming children into their home to look after them in difficult times."
The council report concludes it is "no longer realistic to retain this particular property for tourism related use."