Windsurfing champ’s roots inspire plans for waterfront

Littlehampton Town Council planning and licensing vice chairman Ian Buckland outside the seafront shelter, earmarked for a kite surfing school and cafe SUS-171025-092242001

A three-time windsurfing world champion hopes to transform the shelter he changed in as a child before heading out to sea into a water sports facility and café.

Jamie Hawkins hopes to demolish the Sea Road shelter and build a kite surfing school and café, complete with roof terrace to take advantage of the coastal views.

Plans submitted to Arun District Council have attracted objections from Littlehampton Town Council and East Beach Café owner Jane Wood.

Mr Hawkins, 44, said: “When I was 12 I used to take my things down the beach on a golf trolley and I got changed in that facility so I am very familiar with it.

“For me to have a proper school there on the beach with a café is almost a dream come true.”

The windsurfing ace has pursued his passion in Littlehampton since the age of 10 and now offers lessons on the seafront in addition to running a café business.

The East Preston resident said a permanent facility, together with an eatery and toilets for the public to use, would bring everything together.

The town council said the ‘two-storey’ plans would be ‘contrary to the open and unspoilt character of the beach and seafront’. Its planning and transportation committee argued the shelter was a ‘much-needed amenity’.

In an objection, Mrs Wood, who runs the architectural award-winning East Beach Café, wrote: “I have absolutely no objection to another café although it is the only thing Arun seem to think of in terms of regeneration but for goodness sake insist on a decent architecturally-designed building if anyone in the council knows what that is.”

Basic designs were submitted to the council as part of the planning application, reference LU/307/17/PL.

Mr Hawkins said more detailed computer-generated images would be ready soon.

Detailed designs had been worked on by architects over the last year to achieve the best scheme, he said.

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