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Queens Park Cafe Causing A Stir

By Georgia Swanborough on May 7, 2013 in News

Photo: Centennial Parklands Trust

Photo: Centennial Parklands Trust

Randwick Council is showing support for its residents, after it expressed its opposition towards a proposal for a new café in Queens Park.

The Centennial Parklands Trust is in the process of planning a new café that would replace the Queens Park Pavilion next to the children’s playground on Darley Road.

According to Centennial Parklands, “the concept of converting the building into a café facility came from the Queens Park Master Plan… that received widespread community and stakeholder input”.

The café was made possible in 2012 when funding for the project became available “following a successful funding bid from the NSW Government”.

Labor councillor Kathy Neilson put forward a motion for Randwick Council to oppose the inclusion of the new facility in Queens Park at a meeting in March.

“[The motion] was carried unanimously and I thought that was a very good, strong statement about how we at Randwick feel about this function centre… it shouldn’t go ahead,” Cr Neilson said.

“It’s a really important issue for Randwick residents because the impact is going to be huge for people, particularly in the Darley Road and Market Street area,” she added.

A media release by Randwick Council has expressed its views towards the proposal. However, the development does not require permission from the council as the proposed land is managed by a State Government Trust.

According to the Centennial Parklands Review of Environmental Factors that was released in March, “it is proposed that the cafe has the opportunity to trade until 11pm Monday to Saturday, and until 10pm on Sunday for special events/functions”.

These proposed trading hours did not sit well with Cr Neilson.

“The hours of operation up until 11 o’clock and later and so on is just not right in that area,” she said.

Even without these extended trading hours, Cr Neilson believes the implementation of a daytime café is going to greatly affect Randwick residents.

“That’s still going to have huge problems because people are still going to be bringing their cars… so there’ll be increased traffic,” she added.

Randwick Council has expressed concerns over the facility due to issues regarding increased traffic, shortage of parking and noise, which are all likely to impact residents in the area.

Cr Neilson also mentioned the liquor and entertainment licenses that will come with the function centre as a problem for residents in the area.

“I can’t actually say I can see a positive for it. Certainly not for Randwick residents,” Cr Neilson said. “Everything’s for [Centennial Parklands Trust]… and there are really no positive trade-offs for us.”

Centennial Parklands did enable feedback during the public exhibition of the proposal, which ended on the March 15.

“We are very pleased with the level of interest and engagement with the community, and valuable feedback from the local councils and community have helped to shape the final plans for the facility,” Centennial Parklands’ Amy Jozing said.

Award-winning restaurant and catering company Trippas White Group are the proposed operators of the new café. They also run the dining facility at Centennial Park.