Lifeboat shop under threat
By David GreenFUNDRAISERS are considering their options after being told permanent permission cannot be given for the siting of a mobile RNLI shop next to a lifeboat station.
By David Green
FUNDRAISERS are considering their options after being told permanent permission cannot be given for the siting of a mobile RNLI shop next to a lifeboat station.
The shop has been sited next to the Southold Lifeboat shed for the past six months under a temporary permission granted by Waveney District Council in August.
It enabled the shop to open during the last weekends of the summer, when more than £1,000 was raised for the RNLI.
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But planning officers have now told the fundraising committee that the permission will not be extended or made permanent because of the impact of the mobile on a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Stephen Clegg, chairman of the Southwold and Dunwich RNLI fundraising committee, said: "It is a big disappointment. We have been told the mobile shop would be an unacceptable intrusion into the AONB, but just across the road there are 150 caravans."
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The mobile shop has been in the possession of the branch for four or five years and was previously parked on a local farm and towed to various events, including the Henham Steam Rally.
Late last summer the committee came up with the idea of parking the shop next to the lifeboat shed, near the mouth of Southwold harbour, so it could be open at weekends.
Volunteers manned the shop during weekends in August and September and, following the winter closure, it has begun opening once more.
Mr Clegg said planning officers had also indicated they might be sympathetic to an extension to the lifeboat shed to provide room for a shop and that would be one of the options considered by the committee.
"We have been told that if we were able to get permission for the extension then, until it was built, we might get a further temporary permission for the mobile," said Mr Clegg, who added another option was to find another site for the shop elsewhere in the town.
No-one was available to comment yesterday on behalf of Waveney District Council.