Customer love may have helped keep a garden pizza hut and outdoor bar at a West Dorset hotel.

The Bridge House on East Street, Bridport, asked for planning consent to keep the structures and have now been granted full permission by Dorset Council, to include some superficial changes, the addition of cladding and a new flu.

The outdoor facilities have been a hit with locals and visitors alike – according to those who wrote rave reviews to the council to support the application.

The couple who run it, Marcus and Sara Edwards, moved to the town from Windsor in 2017, vowing to shake off the hotel’s dated, stuffy image to create a “relaxed, warm and welcoming home from home for guests,” according to a planning agent acting for the couple, adding that it now has “a quirky charm.”

The Grade II-listed building, which sits on the banks of the River Asker, was listed in 1768 as a school for dissident minister; it has also been a private house, a boarding and finishing school and also served as an officers mess during the second works war.

Said one of the support letters: “The work that has been carried out has been sympathetic and in keeping with the listed building and although hidden away, it has enhanced the area with a beautiful visual appearance. Care has been taken to ensure nature and wildlife are preserved with lots of beautiful plants and bug boxes. This delightful place can only be an asset to the hotel and to the bustling town of Bridport.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The pizza hut at the Bridge House

Others expressed similar sentiments:  “These guys are working really hard to create amazing food for Bridport. They are an asset,” and: “This seems to be where the community gets together. It doesn’t at all look out of place.”

Said the planning officer who decided the proposals: “The application has gained support from a number of locals and/or customers of the business, noting that it has been carried out sympathetically and provides a lovely relaxing outdoor area to meet on the eastern side of the town and that it adds a friendly bustling asset to Bridport.”

Illustrations – The potting shed bar and kitchen

The existing Pizza hut to which some changes will be made.