The future of the Petersham Nurseries Café hangs in the balance following a dispute with Richmond Council over the amount of traffic it generates.
In December 2007, Richmond Council granted Petersham Nurseries a 12-month temporary licence for continued mixed use as a garden centre and restaurant, which was subject to increased reductions in the number of visitors travelling there by car.
The venue implemented a travel plan including the closure of its car park and issued proposals to the council for more sustainable transport solutions including a bicycle network, a local travel network and commuter ferry service.
Petersham Nurseries Café, which opened in 2004 and is open for lunch only five days a week, said that in the 12 months to December 2008, it reduced the number of visitors travelling to the venue by car by 25%, with all deliveries now taking place during off-peak hours.
Richmond Council's planning commission is now set to meet in the coming weeks to make a decision on the future of the restaurant but a spokesman for the council said that a date had not been set.
Wendy Fogarty, general manager at Petersham Nurseries, told Caterersearch that no final decision could be made about the restaurant's future until the outcome of the planning process.
"The sheer cost and length of this process has placed an enormous burden on this small, independent business," she said.
"However, we are confident that the impact of our ongoing travel plan has addressed any remaining concern regarding our application. We sincerely hope that common sense will prevail and that we will be able to continue."
By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
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