Restaurant's new rooftop terrace will create jobs and 'pull people to Seaton'

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A Seaton Carew restaurant is to be boosted by an outdoor "stack" development after receiving backing from councillors.

Proposals have been given the go-ahead for The Open Jar at Seaton Reach, in Coronation Drive, to place a converted shipping container development in its garden to improve its outdoor catering.

Measuring 20 feet by 8 feet, it would serve food and drink from a hatch to customers and have a 15-seater rooftop terrace overlooking the sea.

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Joe Franks, owner at The Open Jar, said the proposals are expected to create between “five and 10 jobs” and will help “pull people to Seaton”.

Joe Franks, owner of The Open Jar, which has won planning permission for a new rooftop terrace.Joe Franks, owner of The Open Jar, which has won planning permission for a new rooftop terrace.
Joe Franks, owner of The Open Jar, which has won planning permission for a new rooftop terrace.

He said: “The restaurant is a massive success down there, and it’s basically to help us cope with demand, it’s there to help attract people to our site as well.

“It’s just an add on to what we’ve got, we’ve got benches outside, it’s just a little bit more to improve the service that we bring.”

The comments were made at Wednesday’s council planning committee meeting, where the proposals were unanimously backed by councillors.

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Officers had recommended the plans were approved for a three year period to ensure the site remains acceptable “primarily in terms of any visual impact”, and no other issues arose.

How the terrace is expected to look.How the terrace is expected to look.
How the terrace is expected to look.

However councillors ruled this should be extended to five years to give the business more of an opportunity to benefit.

Mr Franks said: “For a small business like us it’s a massive investment.

“That links into job security as well, it’s very difficult for us to promise long-term jobs when we’ve got a three year cap, and realistically with construction we’re going to end up potentially missing this summer.”

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After five years, the “stack” will either have to be removed and the land restored, or a further planning application submitted in an attempt to gain longer term permission.

Five objections had been submitted by residents, including concerns it could result in further future proposals in the area, which could have a “detrimental effect on sea views,” along with antisocial behaviour worries.

Mr Franks stressed they have never had any issues with antisocial behaviour and the proposals would mean more staff are outside supervising customers.

Council officers noted “stacks” have been “quite popular” in nearby areas such as Seaburn and Newcastle, which also operate under temporary planning permission.