'Mecca for petrol-heads' plan for fire-hit Hartside Cafe

Aerial view of the cafe Image copyright David Britton Estates
Image caption Hartside Cafe was destroyed by a fire in March 2018

Plans to knock down a fire-ravaged biker cafe and build a new "Mecca for petrol-heads" have been revealed.

Hartside Cafe between Alston and Penrith was a popular stop for bikers and cyclists because of its views of the Lake District and North Pennines.

In March 2018 it was destroyed by fire and put up for sale for offers over £300,000.

Now it has been bought by property developer Dawn Dixon who said she planned to build a new "cult" cafe.

Image copyright David Britton Estates
Image caption The cafe stands atop the summit of Hartside, 1,903ft above sea level

The cafe is 1,903ft (580m) above sea level, and Mrs Dixon said it had been an "icon" because of is views across southern Scotland and the Lakes.

She and her sons Tom, 27, and Rudy. 31, are planning to knock down the cafe and build an ultra-modern, environmentally-friendly new one in steel and glass, she said.

Image copyright David Britton Estates
Image caption The cafe has views of the Lake District and North Pennines

Mrs Dixon said: "I'm local, born and bred, and am keen that the cafe reopens because it attracts thousands and thousands of visitors.

"Weather-wise we are in the lap of the Gods because the site is so high up but so popular because the views just literally blow you away.

"We are very excited and want the cafe to be a Mecca for petrol-heads once more. We are also planning to build an underground bunker at the site with a sauna and jacuzzi for travellers."

Mrs Dixon hopes to obtain planning permission from Eden District Council later this year, and if approved hopes the Hartside Cafe will reopen in May 2020.

She has also asked Hairy Bikers chefs Simon King and Dave Myers - who is from Barrow-in-Furness - to create a new burger for the cafe.

Image copyright Ian Cleasby
Image caption Artist's impressions have been released of what the new cafe will look like

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