BCP Council (Poole Area): Matt is delighted to share the news that he has recently secured planning consent to extend the permitted opening hours to allow Rockwater restaurant in Branksome to open one hour later on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings to take the closing time on those days from 11pm as approved to midnight. In addition there is permitted a one off later opening for New Years Eve of 2am.

Despite submitting the application back in October last year, come April this year there had still been no decision or any communication with the officer, which wasn’t helped by the planning officer leaving the Authority! We were considering submitting a non-determination appeal when out of the blue we were informed that this application would be going to planning committee (due to number of objections) with a recommendation to approve.

Matt presented a robust deputation to the Members explaining that on the application form for the original restaurant consent the requested hours were for midnight 7 days a week as this ties up with the License granted for the premises. Environmental Health did not object to the hours applied for previously as they were in line with the historically permitted hours for the old Branksome Chine café which could have opened to midnight, but the previous planning officer restricted the hours to 11pm.

We informed members that the nearest residential flats are over 100m away on top of the cliff, with intervening mature tree screening and as such the he proposed additional 1 hour of opening would not add to the level of activity or create a harmful level of noise and disturbance over and above that of the background noise which already exists. We explained that in the short time Rockwater restaurant has been open since September last year, it has quickly gained a great reputation for good food and being a high quality restaurant popular with families coming together for lunch, friends catching up over dinner as well as breakfast business meeting.  It has also proven to be a hit with runners, swimmers and dog walkers warming up over a coffee, so a superb facility for local residents and the wider community. 

In concluding, Matt explained that as we move into the summer season it will undoubtedly attract many holiday makers too, Rockwater has already made a positive contribution to the creation of a world class beach resort, and this proposal will assist it to continue to promote economic development and support tourism whilst not detrimentally impacting on the character and appearance, neighbouring amenity or highway safety. Members agreed and unANNENmously approved the application.