Plans for new play cafe in vacant shop space submitted to council chiefs

The vacant shop in Seaside Lane, Easington.
The vacant shop in Seaside Lane, Easington.

A vacant shop could be transformed into a children’s play cafe under new plans submitted to council planners.

In recent weeks, applicant Kimberley Welburn lodged a ‘change of use’ proposal for an unused shop space in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery.

If approved, the space will reopen as the ‘Oopsy DownTown Play Cafe’ offering kid-friendly facilities, events and refreshments.

An applicant statement, submitted to Durham County Council, states Mrs Welburn is a qualified teacher with over 13 years of early learning experience.

It reads: “I’m passionate about providing a setting which will allow adults to recharge their batteries, relax and socialise, whilst providing a quality learning experience through play for their children.

“The cafe aims to provide children with high quality preschool and baby provision, allowing them to grow and develop whilst playing safely within a well-resourced educational play area with additional soft play. “I believe that providing an interesting and ever-changing environment for children to explore is an ideal way to develop their curiosity, provide opportunities for them to ask questions, and to talk about things they have discovered.”

Proposed opening hours include 9.30am-3.30pm, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm on Saturday and  private hire for birthday parties/functions on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Other plans include running an Ofsted-registered after-school club for children aged three to 10 from 3.30pm-6.30pm, Monday to Friday and sensory and music sessions for under threes.

An application form, submitted to Durham County Council, adds the business will create one full-time and two part-time employees.

Members of the public can comment on the plans until Wednesday, October 24 and a decision is expected by the end of November this year.

To have your say on the plans or find out more, visit: publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning ref: DM/18/03001/FPA

Caption: Plans have been submitted to Durham County Council. Durham County Hall pictured

Caption: A vacant shop space in Seaside Lane near Easington Colliery could become a children’s play cafe under new plans