You may have heard on the grapevine that the proposed new cafe in Mountsfield Park got planning permission last week. This is good news, especially as there had been a few objections based on the materials proposed for the building.
However, what you may not know is that since then it has come to light that the cafe can't now be afforded within the budget the council has for the park. This is because of the rise in contractors costs since the original plans were developed, as I understand it. The overall budget is £525,000, although some of that will already have been spent on tree clearance, surveys, design and procurement fees. Lewisham Council says there’s not enough money to pay for all of the agreed improvements, which includes the improved play area, 90 sq/m cafe building and new community garden. You'll know that over 80% of respondents to a survey on improvements to the park rated a cafe as their number one priority and so this is really disappointing for a lot of park users.
The Council have invited the Friends of Mountsfield Park to meet with them to discuss the situation at an open meeting to be held at the Civic Suite in the Town Hall on Wednesday 9 July at 6.30pm. Unfortunately I can't attend, but I know that the Friends will keep their website updated with the outcome of the meeting. Do get along if you can. The Friends also have a stall at People's Day on 12 July in the park itself, so you can pop along then to find out more.
Update 9 July, 9:30am Link to the agenda: http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=519a3432d49ce42fa47fc0be3&id=851855a78b&e=09e2bffcf5
Update 10 July, 11:30am http://mountsfieldpark.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/local-residents-give-go-ahead-for-council-to-proceed-with-mountsfield-park-improvements-despite-bdp-managed-scheme-up-to-50-over-budget/ confirmation that the cafe will be dropped from phase 1 and the project is 50% over budget. Community Garden and playground refurb will be in phase 1.