Park users "incensed" over beer garden idea

Millhouses Park
Millhouses Park
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A pub’s plans to turn part of a Sheffield park into a beer garden have prompted 1,700 objections.

True North, which runs the Waggon and Horses, wants to rent part of Millhouses park to create a beer garden.

But the idea has prompted complaints from hundreds of park users. Ted Gunby, of the Friends of Millhouses Park, presented the petition to a meeting of Sheffield Council’s Cabinet.

Mr Gunby told the meeting: “The pub wants to rent a space equivalent to 11 or 12 terraced houses. The park users are very upset about the loss of green space and this inappropriate use. There would also be safeguarding issues as it overlooks the children’s playground.

“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.”

True North says it wants to rent an unused section of the park, not remove it from public ownership.

Kane Yeardley of True North said: “We believe the title of the petition was misleading and the trouble is that there is no control over who votes. How many votes were actually by people who live in Sheffield?

“We have had so many people wanting us to start our own petition who are annoyed that the coverage is all negative.

“Local customers are annoyed by the negativity to a great idea and that the Friends Group acts as though it owns the park. It doesn’t consider what people really want in Millhouses.

“When the time comes, we will look at opening our own petition as many people in Millhouses think it's a great idea and trust us to build a beer garden which would be an asset to the area.

“At the end of the day we are looking to create a safe family area away from the road that our customers can relax in.”

Councillors say no formal planning application has been submitted and there would be full consultation.

Coun Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Parks, told the meeting: “This is an expression of interest, there has been no meaningful discussion with the council. There is no set council policy on this so if any proposals came forward, we would discuss this with people in the area.”