Proposed expansion for Scarborough’s ‘much-loved’ Watermark Cafe due to popularity

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A Scarborough seafront cafe is seeking to expand its premises due to popular demand.

The Watermark Café on Royal Albert Drive is hoping to increase its outdoor seating area because owners say it does not have enough seating space due to its popularity.

If plans are approved by North Yorkshire Council, the café will create additional external seating including covered seating pods.

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The ‘beach hut’-style pods would make the use of the outdoor area less weather dependent, according to the proposal which states that the Watermark is “well used throughout the year by locals and visitors”.

Scarborough's Watermark Cafe, current seating area. photo from planning documents.Scarborough's Watermark Cafe, current seating area. photo from planning documents.
Scarborough's Watermark Cafe, current seating area. photo from planning documents.

Currently, the external seating area adjacent to the café is separated by a public footpath.

The land has been leased from the council and is bounded by a low fence with a mixed surface with paving and artificial grass with benches and table seating.

The applicants are seeking permission from North Yorkshire Council to create eight covered seating pods in addition to additional “loose benches and table seating”.

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The café would also put up a unit serving tea, coffee, and ice creams to “minimise the crossing of staff from the cafe”.

Watermark Cafe, current seating area. photo from planning documents.Watermark Cafe, current seating area. photo from planning documents.
Watermark Cafe, current seating area. photo from planning documents.

This unit’s location would enable it to use drainage and power from the café.

A “significant portion of the additional area” would be used for the covered seating, the style of which “echoes the design of beach huts”.

The proposed huts would have bench seating and roll shutter systems for closing and securing the units when not in use and the colours will reflect those of the cafe.

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The application concludes: “The additional area proposed is relatively modest but will provide better facilities for the much loved and well-used cafe.

“The additional seating, particularly the covered huts will provide increased space under cover allowing more use and space for customers.”

North Yorkshire Council has not set a date for deciding on the application which is currently pending consideration.

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