Having taken a lot of time to digest the objections and public consultation to the council’s previous proposal, as well as going to lengths to engage with key stakeholder groups such as the MSBHA, we believe we have a design that can work for everyone. Here’s how we plan to solve a number of important issues and create a venue that sits at the heart of the Mudeford sandspit community.
The old building was never designed for purpose, and had no aesthetic value from the outside. We believe our new proposal is much more sympathetic of the location, being a single story and designed around a uniform ‘Beach Hut’ pattern, it won’t encroach on neighbouring huts or stand out from the skyline. The new building will look and feel familiar in its surroundings.
Since the fire the shop has been running out of the old coast watch hut opposite. Many people expressed the view that this was an over commercialisation of the area, and our new design relocates the shop back inside the café. One of the biggest logistical issues we’ve had over the years is keeping a good range of shop stock available at all times, in order to improve this service we’re investing in a new online shop that will offer a next day click and collect service, working with local suppliers we will be able to offer a much wider range of fresh goods, pre-packed hampers, and beach essentials than ever before, as well as all the old favourites and essentials still available every day in the shop.
One of the big worries for Sandspit residents is that the new site will be too busy, and that the council design was over commercialised. Our new design seeks to make the best use of the site to offer the familiar experience of the old café, with the same number of covers available, as well as retaining the relaxed vibe of the takeaway offering but bringing it inside the building to minimise outdoor queuing. The 400+ beach huts on the Sandspit can accommodate far more people than the café, our hope is to be able to offer our services to as many of the existing beach users as possible whilst not exploiting the tranquillity of the area.
Both the old café, and the temporary site, were plagued with noise issues, the new building seeks to ensure this is minimised. Using insulated SIPs the new building will emit far less noise, and not having an open exit on the North side will help our nearest neighbours. We are working with CPS, a local company with a lot of experience in sound engineering, to fit a Distributed Audio solution to have background music playing evenly inside at digitally controlled volume with fixed limits and programmed shut off time.
We are working with Dorset Sheet Metal to have an extraction system design and installed that will include Carbon Filters and UV Odour Neutralisation. Up to date extraction and air conditioning equipment will run much quieter, and locating the equipment on the roof behind a sound deadening façade will ensure the only thing you can hear outside the café is the waves breaking on the shore.
We have a vehicle management plan ready to deploy as soon as the building reopens that will drastically reduce the amount of traffic going up and down the lane. We will be investing in a new electric van that will collate all deliveries off site and bring them down in a single trip each day. We also plan to further reduce road journeys by investing in an accessible water craft that is suitable for bringing deliveries down river rather than by road. We are also looking to partner with Beryl to offer a discount to staff and customers to use their bikes.
Environmental awareness is critical in these times, especially so at a unique site of Special Scientific Interest like Hengistbury Head. The new design has greater green credentials, being better insulated, using sympathetic materials, embracing solar power, increasing green planting, operating in a more sustainable way, and working with the local community to help reduce litter and increase recycling. From supporting beach cleaning volunteers, to providing recycling facilities to all beach users we will be supporting the Leave Only Footprints campaign to keep this an area of outstanding natural beauty and reduce the impact of the site.