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Tourists and locals would be sad to see Leigh cockle shed go
TOURISTS and locals fear the demolition of a family-run cockle shed to make way for a cafe will be a blow to Old Leigh’s heritage.
The Peterboat Inn in Old Leigh has applied to knock down the Ivy Osborne Cockle Shed in its car park and beer garden to build its own cafe and shellfish stall.
But customers of the stall, which has been run by a traditional fishing family for 75 years, were outraged by the pub’s proposals.
Marketing executive Ray Morgan, 28, of Highcliffe Drive, Leigh, said: “I think it’s really sad that somewhere that’s been there for so long is being ousted in favour of a cafe, because Leigh’s got too much of that, it’s overrun with cafes.
“Why push something out that’s a success in favour of a faddy cafe?”
Jo Overfield, 33, also of Leigh, said: “It’s part of the Old Leigh heritage and I think local people value that and I think it’s really important.
“We’ve got to keep it Old Leigh.”
Owner of the Peterboat, the East Anglia Pub Company has had permission to build a cafe on the site for more than two years, but has leased the area to Ivy Osborne. However, it has now applied to extend the permission and submitted a design for a smaller cafe with the family, who have worked in the town’s fishing industry for more than 180 years, being sent a provisional notice to quit.
Vistors to the area also fear Leigh will lose its attraction with the loss of its original businesses.
Claire Baess, 42, a full-time mother from Hertfordshire, said: “I come down here firstly to see people and secondly for the prawns.
“I think it’s horrible because this is a business which has been passed down from generation to generation. I really like Leigh and it’s a shame to see this happen.”
Sally Miller, 37, visiting from Shoebury Road, Thorpe Bay, added: “It’s kind of sad really, and losing a bit of what Leigh’s about.
“I’ve just come down to have some prawns myself. We don’t want it to be all cafes.”
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