Council defer plans for £5m restaurant and bar complex at popular Doncaster park
Plans for a new café and restaurant/bar complex in a popular Doncaster park has been deferred by councillors.
Sandall Park Leisure Ltd want to build a new £5 million facility which would directly replace the ageing café building.
Planning officers at Doncaster Council recommended the plans for approved with conditions.
But councillors raised concerns over the size of the site and parking arrangements.
The scheme was first mooted in 2015 and the project also involves a reconfiguration of the car park.
The building will offer views over the park’s lake and developers hope it will attract thousands of extra visitors to the Wheatley park each year.
Proposals suggest the building will be able to provide 150 food covers, new public toilets, improved kitchen and food preparation facilities and better disabled access.
The space will also provide better use for clubs and societies in the community.
Council planners said the structure needed to address problems in the current café.
They said the building had ‘very poor energy efficiency’ from the 1950s construction and the existing roofing is ‘failing’ which led to serious water leaks in 2017 that led to the café being closed during a peak Summer period.
The new building will also need to address overcrowding at peak times as currently the café has ‘insufficient capacity’ to meet peak visitor demand.
But Spotbrough councillor Jonathan Wood had some reservations with the scheme in its current form.
“I’d want the opportunity to dig more into some of the issues.”
Coun Sue McGuinness was also in favour of deferring the application.
“I use this park regularly to take the grandkids and I already think there isn’t enough parking," she said.
Council bosses approved the surrender and renewal of the lease on the Sandall Park Café in 2015 to facilitate its redevelopment, noting they ‘would not be able to fund redevelopment’.
The applicants have said expansion of the business could lead to job creation from 10 to 30 to 40 jobs.
DMBC planning officer Hannah Wilson, said: “The proposal will provide enhanced facilities for park users encouraging the use of the park.”
The application has been deferred for a site visit and is expected to be heard again next month.