Counter petition launched after objections to beer garden

Artist's impression of the plans
Artist's impression of the plans
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The owner of a local business has started a petition to create a beer garden in Millhouses Park after hundreds of residents objected.

Kane Yeardley, owner of True North Brew Co which runs the Waggon and Horses, offered Sheffield City Council double the money to rent part of Millhouses park to create a beer garden.

But before he could formally apply 1,700 residents signed a petition to object the proposals with concerns over antisocial behavior which was presented at a Cabinet meeting this week.

In response, Mr Yeardley started a petition supporting the idea which has reached over 800 signatures in one week.

Since he told the Council his plans last July he said it has been a slow process. He said: "I'd just like to get it moving and this seems to be the only way to do it, I think the Council like the idea they are just really sensitive about anything to do with parks and recreation at the moment, especially trees.

"But I can 100 per cent guarantee in building this beer garden no trees will be cut down."

In the petition Mr Yeardley said: "Currently patrons have to sit by the roadside inhaling car exhaust fumes on a hot sunny day. We want to change that.

"We have offered the council twice the market rent to use a small piece of land at the side of the pub."

He added that the reason for doubling the offer is to ensure someone at the park can remain employed.

After talking with the Friends of Millhouses Park he also offered to build a much needed £19,000 accessible roundabout.

But at the cabinet meeting this week Ted Gunby, of the Friends of Millhouses Park, now said: "Not long ago the park was a no-go area and I couldn’t let my children go there but the Friends group has drawn in £700,000 and invested it in the park. We are working in very close partnership with Parks and Countrysides to transform it.

"It’s already a Green Flag park and people come from all over Sheffield to it. People feel safe here. We collected 200 signatures in half an hour because people are incensed by this.”

But Mr Yeardley said they only want to rent an used section of the park, not remove it from public ownership and added: "If they were to accept our £20k they would have another 5 per cent in revenue."

To the many residents who objected the plans, he said: "I’m totally behind them, they shouldn’t be selling off parks to developers. I support that principal. All we’re talking about is leasing a piece and renting it. It can always be taken back at any time.

"Our main business is families, we don’t want a couple of blokes getting rowdy and shouting, it just doesn’t work. If we get the feeling things aren’t right we’ll bring in security operatives."

True North have been trading for nearly 30 years and brought back to life pubs like The York, The Broadfield and Riverside Kelham. Mr Yeardley was also instrumental in bringing life into Devonshire Green when he encouraged major sites to contribute to renovating the area.

He said: "We are turnaround experts. We take pubs that aren’t working well and we renovate them, put a good service in and add to the community. Most people like our pubs.

“We’ve had very strong support from people who would like to have a nice beer garden in Millhouses Park rather than being sat by the road. This is the last piece of the jigsaw to make it a great experience.”

If the petition reaches 5,000 signatures the Council have to make a decision.

The Council said they are currently reviewing their policy on such planning applications and are in consultation with those involved.