Cafe expansion approved at Sunderland's Herrington Country Park
City councillors have backed plans for a major revamp of café facilities at Herrington Country Park.
Earlier this year, Sunderland City Council revealed proposals to expand café facilities at the visitor hotspot in response to rising numbers of visitors, and included expanding the current café building into an external storage area.
This aimed to increase the floor area of the café from around 63 square metres to 270 square metres.
Detailed plans for the redevelopment included a new kitchen, entrances and windows, and a new outdoor terrace, with more seating internally and externally.
The proposals were presented to the council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee for decision on Tuesday, November 30.
Council planners, recommending the plans for approval, said the scheme proposed a “significant improvement” to the current café area and would provide more space for customers in the context of Covid-19.
A planning report prepared for councillors also noted the development’s location in the Green Belt, where various restrictions are in place.
However, the report said the development was not expected to impact on the openness or visual amenity of the protected land and plans met the “very special circumstances” needed under Green Belt policy to allow the development of the outdoor terrace.
Following a presentation by local authority planners, city councillors approved the planning application for the café expansion.
According to a report prepared for cabinet in October 2021, new plans for Herrington Country Park are part of the council’s “ongoing works to improve facilities in parks and open spaces across the city.”
As a ‘shell’ café fit-out, the eventual tenant would be responsible for the installation of required equipment, fixtures and fittings.