This is the national chain due to run new Hastings restaurant near seafront

Hastings Borough Council has put in a planning application to redevelop the former toilets in Harold Place, revealing the name of the chain set to occupy the finished building. 

The application, which became publicly available on Friday (October 15), comes as part of a project to redevelop the site into a two-storey restaurant, which saw its budget increase from £1.2m to £1.7m following a full council vote on Wednesday (October 13).

It names the council’s future tenant as Loungers UK Limited — the company behind the high street Lounges and Cosy Club brands.

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According to the company’s website, Loungers operates 146 sites in England and Wales across its two brands. The Hastings restaurant would operate under the Lounge brand.

Proposed design of new restaurant in Harold Place, Hastings

In a planning statement submitted as part of the application, a council spokesman said: “On completion of the build, the applicant has a long-term lease agreed with a tenant, Loungers, who will operate the building as a modern restaurant and café.

“Having regard to the vacant site and location between two key visitor areas, the premises has the opportunity to create a wide range of economic benefits. 

“The business will contribute to the local economy via business rates and tax generation via the income from customers and clients.

“The business will also contribute to investment in local suppliers and businesses through the supply chain and the operational aspects such as waste, security and laundry services to name just a few.”

Proposed design of new restaurant in Harold Place, Hastings

The application goes on to say the business is expected to directly create around 30 new jobs once it begins trading. 

Currently it is planned to open between 9am and 11.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 9am until 12.30am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The site was originally the site of Victorian underground public conveniences, which were later developed into a modern above ground facility. These were demolished following a planning application in 2017 and the site has been empty and hoarded for safety reasons since then.

The proposed building would be a two storey restaurant pavilion with both internal and external seating.

Architects Kendell Kingscott Limited say proposed design is contemporary, but inspired by the architectural features of historic buildings found within the area. It would also contain high levels of insulation and passive ventilation, which are intended to reduce energy consumption. 

However, these designs did come in for some criticism when funding for the project was discussed by councillors earlier this week. 

Concerns were also raised around the cost of the project and its long term commercial viability, which saw the building described as a potential ‘white elephant’ by Conservative councillors. 

However, the council’s Labour majority supported the proposals and have raised the possibility of grant funding to help offset its cost.

For further information on the application see planning reference HS/FA/21/00905 on the Hastings Borough Council website.