Cafe culture

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ONE of Scarborough’s historic cliff lifts could be transformed into a cafe with outdoor seating if the plan gets official approval on Thursday.

The plan for the lift in St Nicholas Cliff has been submitted by Andrew Atkins and will be considered by members of Scarborough Council’s Planning Committee at the Town Hall from 1pm.

It has been recommended for approval, subject to a number of conditions, and in a report by Jill Low, the council’s planning manager, she said: “This application seeks planning permission to convert the former ticket kiosk and two lift carriages into a café that will have both internal and external seating.

“The external elements of the café would be created around a new counter servery and kiosk with the internal seating provided in the carriages that would remain positioned at the top of the slope.”

She added that the proposed use was considered to be an appropriate reuse of the disused railway, which allowed for investment in its structure and appearance, and the café use did not raise any material concerns with nearby buildings. “The proposal has been designed so as not to prejudice the reuse of the railway at a later date should this prove viable,” she said.

The application proposes to replace the existing ticket office with a new catering kiosk – the proposed building would be approximately 5.2m long, 3.2m wide and 2.4m tall.

It is proposed that the seating area for customers would mainly be on the north east side of the building, under the existing canopy, extending eastwards onto a new balcony.

In her report Mrs Low said: “To provide indoor seating the existing carriages situated on the southern side of the development are to be adapted.

“This involves carrying out both internal and external works to the carriages, including the introduction of a Juliet balcony constructed of safety glass and a top rail to each carriage. The two shells are to be coupled together by the use of a fully glazed link and would be secured at the top of the tram tracks.”

The St Nicholas Lift was opened on August 5 1929, but is not considered to be of such high heritage significance as the South Cliff Tramway which was opened on July 6, 1875 – making it the oldest in Britain – and it is not in its original form with the cars replaced about 30 years ago. It has been unused for some time.