Cafe expansion set for approval at Sunderland's Herrington Country Park

Plans to revamp a popular café in Herrington Country Park will go before city councillors for decision next week.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 5:31 pm
Plans to expand the park cafe are due for approval.

This included a new kitchen/ servery, entrances and a seating area, alongside external alterations including new windows and an enlarged terrace for seating.

Proposals aim to provide a ‘shell’ café fit-out with an eventual tenant being responsible for the installation of required equipment, fixtures and fittings.

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According to a supporting statement lodged with the planning application, the bid was submitted in response to rising numbers of people visiting the café and park.

Next week, Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee will be asked to decide on the plans for the café.

If approved, the council application would see the building expand into an existing ground maintenance storage area to increase floor space and make way for around 30 tables.

Council planners have said that the scheme is acceptable and have recommended it for approval, despite the site being located in the Green Belt.

However, a report prepared by planners states the development meets the “very special circumstances” needed to allow development on the protected land.

This includes the cafe’s existing location in a developed area of the park and no expected impacts on the openness or visual amenity of the Green Belt.

Planners added the café expansion would not “undermine” the purposes served by the Green Belt in Sunderland, such as “safeguarding the city’s countryside from further encroachment.”

Back in October 2021, the council’s ruling cabinet agreed to start the procurement process to redevelop the current café facilities and the subsequent awarding of contracts for the required capital works.

The final decision on the development rests with councillors on the Planning and Highways (West) Committee.

The panel will meet at Sunderland Civic Centre on Tuesday, November 30 to discuss the application.

The meeting starts at 5.30pm in the council chamber and is open to the public.

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

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