Plans for extended cafe at Herrington Country Park to help meet rise in demand as visitor numbers boom

Plans have been lodged for works to boost space and improve facilities at a popular Sunderland cafe.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 2:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 3:27 pm

The pandemic has seen a rise in visitors to the city’s green spaces, and in turn, an increase in customers to food and drink businesses located at or near them.

And to help meet demand at Herrington Country Park. Sunderland City Council has lodged a planning application with its own planning department for the Herrington Park Cafe.

This included the change of use of a ground maintenance storage area to provide an extension to the existing cafe.

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The cafe building at Herrington Country Park.

The works are expected to create a new kitchen/ servery, entrances and a seating area, alongside external alterations including new windows and an enlarged terrace for seating.

A supporting statement submitted with the application outlines the reasons behind the extension, which include increased visitor demand.

It reads: “Herrington Country Park continues to increase in popularity.

“With the increased visitor numbers, it has become apparent that the current café is no longer of a suitable size for such a popular regional facility.

“The proposal seeks to utilise under-used existing space within the wider building.

“Internal remodelling will increase the café area and associated kitchen, storage and WC facilities.

“Proposals also include a new entrance and elevation treatment. Externally the existing terrace is to be extended to create additional outdoor seating areas.

“The scheme will significantly increase the seating offer, both internally and externally, for visitors to the café/park.”

The existing ‘Cafe on the Park’ is located within a cluster of buildings that include a toliet block, offices and a former visitor centre.

Sunderland City Council’s cabinet are set to discuss the proposed cafe development at a meeting on Tuesday (October 12).

According to a report prepared for senior councillors, the plan is seen as a “key element in increasing the provision of high-quality services within local communities and is part of the council’s ongoing works to improve facilities in parks and open spaces across the city.”

However, the final decision on the cafe revamp rests with the council’s planning department and is expected later this year following consultation.

For more information on the application or to track its progress, visit Sunderland City Council’s online planning portal and search reference: 21/02343/LP3

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