The prospect of a cafe in Mountsfield Park has moved a step closer with the submission of a planning application to Lewisham Council.
We have been campaigning for a new cafe in the park for years, and we are delighted that the clear wishes of so many in the local community are that much closer to being realised. The journey to this point has been lengthy and sometimes frustrating, with disappointments along the way. But it now feels like we are in touching distance of getting a cafe that will serve the needs of all park users – families using the redeveloped playground, weekend gardeners in the community garden, daily dog walkers, picnic goers, joggers, and many more.
As many of you know, Lewisham Council have £50k set aside to support the development a new and improved cafe in Mountsfield Park, and they are now seeking expressions of interest from potential operators.
We don’t think there is any single way to create a wonderful cafe in Mountsfield Park, and are keen that this process encourages creative and innovative approaches, bringing in private investment to supplement money from the Council.
We hope that this can be the start of the next phase of improvement at our wonderful park. With your help, continued engagement, and enthusiasm, the cafe we all dream of can become a reality.
The deadline for cafe operators to submit their expressions of interest to the Council’s Corporate Asset Team is 28 October 2015. The Council will then will then formally invite bids giving 6 weeks to return.
LB of Lewisham are deliberating over when to carry out improvements to Mountsfield Park. The decision is in the balance, whether to spend the money set aside by the council or to wait until match funding becomes available and increase the budget. In 2011 £500,000 was available to spend on the park and in 2012 the figure was reduced to £400,000. In 2012 85% of park users that took part in the public consultation paid for by Marks and Spencer stated that they want a permanent café building. Mountsfield Park lost its permanent café in 1981 because of a fire.