Beachfront restaurant will extend opening hours despite resident concerns

Rockwater in Branksome <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Rockwater in Branksome (Image: Newsquest)

A BEACHFRONT restaurant will open for longer after a planning application was unanimously approved by councillors.

Rockwater in Branksome will see its closing time extend by an hour to midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and until 2am on New Year’s Eve.

As reported, nearby residents raised their concerns over ‘crazy’ noise coming from events at the restaurant.

They had complained over loud noise coming from the restaurant at its launch party, which featured DJ Fatboy Slim, and on New Year’s Eve, with worries that extending the hours would result in more events like this.

However, members of BCP Council’s western planning committee voted unanimously to approve the application to amend the conditions of the planning consent to extend the hours.

Councillors recognised the concerns of the residents over noise and voted to grant temporary consent for 12 months.

This will allow the committee to review the consent following a full peak season and New Year’s Eve.

This is also subject to conditions including a commitment to keep the retractable roof on the restaurant closed from 11pm each night.

The restaurant must not empty glass bottles into its bins after 10pm each night and council environment officers will also install noise monitoring equipment nearby to ensure noise conditions are adhered to.

Ward councillor for Canford Cliffs, Cllr John Challinor, said that while he had complaints from residents on the two occasions mentioned, the operator was ‘good on the whole’ with their sound management plan.

On the temporary approval and review, Cllr Challinor said: “I think that would probably help to reassure residents who are possibly fearing what might happen during the busy months, to know that it’s going to come back and be reviewed would be rather good,”

Representing Rockwater, Matt Annen, from Pure Town Planning, told the committee of the signs and CCTV in place to try to keep noise down around the venue.

He said the extended hours may reduce noise and disturbances, with customers leaving more sporadically.

Mr Annen said: “Rockwater has already made a massive contribution to the creation of a world class beach resort.

“This proposal will assist to continue to promote economic development and support tourism for the town.”