Opposition made clear as cafe petition is handed over

Coldingham resident Walter Powner hands over a petition to Convenor of the Council, Graham Garvie at the Scotttish Borders Headquarters.
Coldingham resident Walter Powner hands over a petition to Convenor of the Council, Graham Garvie at the Scotttish Borders Headquarters.

OBJECTORS to Scottish Borders Council’s plans to force the closure of Coldingham Bay’s beach cafe made their feelings clear on Monday when a petition carrying 2,000 signatures was presented at the local authority’s HQ in Newtown St Boswells.

The petition was launched after the owner of the business, William Harrison, was served with an eviction notice by Scottish Borders Council earlier in the summer, telling him that trade had to be ceased and the building taken down by the end of September due to an agreement not being reached over rent.

News of the eviction notice soon spread and signatures in support of Mr Harrison and Walter Powner, the man who runs the cafe, have come from far and wide.

A spokesperson for SBC said the local authority supported the sentiment of the petition and were keen to maintain catering fatalities at Coldingham Bay, with plans already set out for a new multi-purpose building.

They commented: “The Council is very supportive of the provision of a beach café at Coldingham Bay and in the longer term, its Coldingham Bay Management Strategy 2011-16 approved by the Council’s Executive in March 2012 aspires for the site to be redeveloped for a modern multi-purpose building with information, interpretation, retail and catering for visitors.

“In order to help facilitate this development potential, the Council sought to enter into a new three year lease with the tenant of the café to allow for the existing café to continue meantime.

“Unfortunately, agreement could not be reached with the tenant for a new three year ground lease and as a last resort, the Council had no option but to terminate the existing ground lease for the café.