Green light for Funicular Coffee House at former Viking Bay shelter site

The Furnicular Coffee House application has been approved

Permission has been granted to convert the seafront shelter, former toilets and lift off Victoria Parade at Viking Bay in Broadstairs into a boutique coffee house.

The site, bought for a whopping £350,000 at auction last October, by Justin van Oortmerssen will become The Funicular Coffee House.

Mr Ootmerssen says the business has been named: “ (in) tribute to the Broadstairs funicular, the steepest funicular in the UK and one of only three left in the country of its kind.”

The Broadstairs Cliff Railway (funicular) was built in 1910 and designed to take 12 people in a single car from the top of the cliff down to the beach.

The lift was closed in 1991 due to disrepair.

The Funicular will provide high quality coffee and snacks as well as ice cream.

There will also be outdoor seating and ‘period sensitive timber shutters for security reasons on the entrance of the ground floor.’

The new business will provide employment for 5 full time and two part time staff.

Thanet council sold the freehold for the site, which comprises an area of open land together with the disused lift shaft and toilets at split level, as part of its asset disposal programme.

The guide price originally given by auctioneers Clive Emson, was £40,000- £50,000 plus fees but the hammer finally came down at 7 times that price.

Permission for the café was granted by Thanet council yesterday (May 4).