Councillors have agreed to go ahead and demolish a seafront cafe despite strong objections from residents.
More than 2,000 people signed a petition calling for the Boardwalk Cafe, on Watts Slope in Whitley Bay, to be saved from demolition.
But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears after North Tyneside Council members agreed to go ahead – indicating the sooner the better.
Campaigners were able to outline their case at a full council meeting tonight (Thursday), calling for the popular cafe to remain on site.
However, members supported a decision to demolish the Boardwalk Cafe to make way for the expansion and enhancement of the Northern Promenade linking the beach to the new Plaza and Spanish City area.
Councillors were told that the current cafe is a poor quality 1970s building; it is not a listed property and has no architectural or historic importance.
It was also stated that the decision to demolish is possible as a result of trading failures.
The meeting heard that the current occupier, who took over in 2014, has failed to make the required rent payments to the council and agreed to relinquish the lease last month and close the cafe.
Members were also informed that a masterplan for the Whitley Bay Seafront area is currently being prepared and will be shared with residents by the end of the year.
Mayor Norma Redfearn told the meeting: “It is clear from talking to people from all parts of North Tyneside, and listening to their views that they are clearly supportive of the council’s plans to regenerate the coast, but they want to see work progress more quickly – they want us to get on with it.
“I’m pleased that the masterplan will soon be available to be shared with residents and businesses.
“In the meantime the demolition of the Boardwalk Cafe is a necessary and essential first step to opening up the Northern Promenade area and unlocking the improvements to Whitley Bay seafront that residents are expecting.
“When our work is complete, Whitley Bay will have a seafront to be proud of. As well as the stunning coastline and views it will have exceptional facilities that will attract more business, more investment and more visitors to North Tyneside.”