Internet stars The Bald Builders win permission for drive-through cafe in Climping

Internet stars The Bald Builders have been given permission to open a drive-through cafe made from shipping containers.
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The builders – also know as Brad Hanson, from Littlehampton, and Sam Hughes, from Bognor Regis – have attracted more than one million followers on social media with their range of cheeky, funny and informative videos.

Last year they launched their own food truck, aptly named The Bald Kitchen.

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Now their application to set up a cafe in Crookthorn Lane, Climping, has been given the nod by Arun District Council’s planning committee.

Artist's impression of the new cafeArtist's impression of the new cafe
Artist's impression of the new cafe

It wasn’t the most popular of plans, with hardly any of the committee putting in a good word for the scheme.

Concerns centred around the look of the containers in such a rural landscape, the possibility of an increase in traffic to the site, and what the impact would be on people living in a nearby Grade II listed cottage.

But they had no planning reason to refuse the application.

It was approved by five votes to two with four abstentions.

The most positive comment came from Steve Goodheart (Arun Independent Group, Hotham) who thought the cafe would be a ‘great example of recycling’ and predicted more such ideas would come forward in the future.

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Alison Cooper (Con, Rustington East) wondered why the cafe could not be opened in a town centre, where it would ‘envigorate that town centre’.

The cafe will be constructed using two recycled shipping containers painted orange and black, with a timber canopy.

It will face on to a seating area, while the drive-through will run across the back.

The current siteThe current site
The current site

A statement from The Bald Builders was read out during the meeting.

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It described the community work they carried out during the pandemic – including a burger and book day which saw 250 children receive free food and a book – and a Christmas grotto.

The council received 27 letters of objection to the plans and more than 100 letters of support – though some objectors pointed out that a number of those came from outside the area.