More than 10,000 people have signed a petition in support of a seafront venue in Hove.
Rockwater, on the promenade in Kingsway, Hove, currently has a temporary licence to sell alcohol in a series of igloos and shacks and wants to make it permanent.
The petition on the website 38 Degrees started by Maeve Davis, wife of Rockwater owner Luke Davis, said that 10 residents were trying to remove the venue’s igloos and shacks for “spiteful and disingenuous reasons”.
A licensing application was submitted on Friday 6 November for a variation to the existing temporary licence to allow for the sale of alcohol until 10pm in the temporary huts.
The current temporary licence allows for alcohol sales until Monday 14 December.
Mrs Davis’s petition said: “We are urging the council to listen to the overwhelming majority of residents, and wider community, who are incredibly supportive of Rockwater’s Shacks and Igloo Village, what Rockwater is doing for the community and what it brings to a long-neglected part of the Hove seafront.
“We are also asking them to consider the huge impact shutting the Shacks and Igloo Village will have on local employment in the hospitality industry as well the detrimental impact on a large number of local suppliers.”
As Rockwater is to the west of Sackville Road and Hove Street, it is outside the area where Brighton and Hove City Council operates stricter licensing policies.
Rockwater also submitted a planning application in August for a glazed first-floor extension above its existing flat roof, a new lift, a glazed pergola extension, lower ground floor booth seating, a fire pit with canopy and chimney and an area of decking with balustrade to the beach south of the site.
The application is part-retrospective because some of the work has been done.
There are currently 587 letters of support for the planning application on the council’s website and 38 objections.
As well as the hundreds of letters of public support, both the Hove Civic Society and West Hove Seafront Action Group support the scheme.
The Hove Civic Society wrote that the Rockwater development would improve the existing building without having a negative impact on the Sackville Gardens Conservation Area.
It said: “The recent improvements already made at ‘Rockwater’ have shown the potential to bring more energy and appeal to this section of the seafront.
“There should be a positive effect on employment opportunities and on recreational and community activities.
“This could be a catalyst for much-needed further regeneration to this long section of Hove seafront.”
West Hove Seafront Action Group, a partnership of businesses and 17 voluntary and community organisations, said that it “fully supports” the scheme.
The group wrote: “The success of the Rockwater Shacks has significantly increased footfall to the benefit of businesses and community organisations along the seafront.
“The provision of additional security has been most welcome, not least by beach hut owners concerned about increased vandalism.
“Similarly, intensive waste management has kept the immediate environs of the café and the adjacent beach free of litter.”
Mr and Mrs Davis were approached for comment.
The licensing application is available to view on the council website by searching for reference number 445/3/2020/03689/LAPREV at licensingregister.brighton-hove.gov.uk.
The planning application is also on the council website by searching for BH2020/02211 at planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk.
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