Sunderland park keeper’s house to become cafe

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A NEW cafe is set to open in a Wearside park.

Councillors have given the green light to plans to turn the former park keeper’s house into a community cafe and offices in Southwick.

The Thompson Park building has been unused for many years and was earmarked for demolition in 2012. However, the Sunderland Young People’s Bike Project wants to breathe new life back into the Newcastle Road property.

As well as alterations to the entrances, the building will be fitted with a pitched roof to the single-storey extension, decking and an access ramp.

The cafe will be run by three members of staff and up to six people will use the office space.

The cafe will be open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Saturdays, and from 9am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

Despite five letters of objection, members of Sunderland City Council’s Sunderland North planning committee, agreed with the recommendation to approve it.

Neighbouring properties expressed concerns about parking, increased rubbish, loss of privacy and there not being any need for a cafe.

However, a report to the committee said: “The cafe will provide community facilities enhancing the attractiveness of the park, whilst not being detrimental to the landscaping or recreation and amenity value.”