'Make the right decision:' Councillors urged to back Doncaster park cafe plan ahead of crucial meeting

Doncaster councillors have been urged to back the building of a £5m cafe that will transform the fortunes of a popular town park ahead of a crucial meeting.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 3rd February 2020, 3:19 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 4:06 pm

Doncaster Council’s planning committee will meet tomorrow to consider giving the green light to a new cafe in Sandall Park which volunteers who look after the park will give the area a crucial shot in the arm.

The current building is on the verge of collapse and planning officers have recommended that the scheme be given the go-ahead – but councillors will have the final say.

Now the Friends of Sandall Park volunteer group, has urged councillors to ‘make the right decision,’ fearing that if the plan is not given the go ahead, the park will spiral into decline.

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Plans to open a £5m cafe in Sandall Park are due to be discussed by councillors tomorrow.

The plans were first mooted several years ago but continued delays and objections saw FoSP chairman Sandra Crabtree and her husband Don quit the group earlier this year, amid growing frustrations at the lack of progress.

In a statement posted on Facebook ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, the group said: “If the cafe development is refused, the park will begin it's gradual decline.

“When the current cafe is demolished - if it doesn't fall down first - there won't be a cafe and subsequently the toilets will eventually close.

“The council can't afford the staff to close the toilets, the cafe staff have been doing it for the last few years. No cafe = no staff to close the toilets = no toilets.

“Not wishing to sound all doom and gloom but the park's future is at stake. Parkrun and other events can't function without toilets, not to mention all the people who visit the park and need toilet facilities.

“In 1994 the train, putting green, golf and the boats were all removed from the park, followed by the changing rooms.

“Had FoSP been around in 1994 we would have fought tooth and nail to retain all those facilities, as we are now doing with the cafe.

“If it's approved - well! The development of the park can continue apace!

“Let's hope the people with the power make the right decision.”