A disused toilet block on Hoylake promenade once earmarked for a cafe and bistro has been demolished.

Its would-be developer said he watched the building come down with "a tear in my eye" as it ended his dream of breathing new life into the town's somewhat under-used seafront.

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Flattened: Nothing left of the promenade block after a few hours' demolition work

Plans to convert the former public conveniences at the end of Trinity Road into "Pebbles Cafe" were approved in 2011 - six years after the local authority declared them surplus to requirements.

But the council sent in the bulldozers this morning after the conversion failed to take place.

The man behind the cafe plan, Gary Watson, said he had applied for Government funding to go ahead with the scheme but this was torpedoed after the prom was hit by a tidal surge.

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Gary Watson at the 'Pebbles' site on Hoylake beach in 2013

Mr Watson, who owns Tanskey's on West Kirby promenade, said: “I went along to see the building demolished with a tear in my eye.

“I was very sad to see it go.

"It had taken nine years of planning to get permission for the cafe, including two applications for coastal regeneration funding.

“Unfortunately following the tidal surge in 2013, the money was redirected by the Government to pay for coastal defence works.

“So it meant I was unable to continue with my plans.

“It’s a real shame because a lot of people had contacted me saying they wanted me to build that bar."

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Asked whether he would reconsider building on Hoylake promenade, Mr Watson replied: “If I won the lottery and had enough money to proceed with the project I would do - but at the moment it’s not feasible.”

The proposals to knock down the building and construct a licensed seaside cafe were not universally popular.

Opponents were concerned the granting of a licence would lead to public nuisance and more than 70 people signed a petition against it.

However a campaign in favour gained support from 500 signatories.

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David Ball, Wirral’s head of regeneration and planning, said: ‘There was some interest in changing the use of this derelict toilet block but the applicant was not successful in obtaining funding.

"Since then the building, which is owned by the council, has been derelict, and will be demolished starting today.

"We do not anticipate the work taking long, and we will do whatever we can to keep noise and nuisance to nearby residents to a minimum."

It is not clear what will happen to the site now.

A letter sent from the town hall to local householders says: "Once demolition works have been completed the contractor will make safe the area after which it will be assessed for new fencing and ground works.

"This may take two to three weeks to complete depending on manufacture and delivery timescales."

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