SUNDERLAND CITY COUNCIL is pressing ahead with work to make sure the café and garden centre at the newly transformed Elemore Country Park are perfect when they open in March.
The City Council had hoped to open the café, garden and visitor centre at the former Elemore Golf Course next month, but unforeseen drainage issues mean they will now open in March instead.
The issues were uncovered when floors were taken up as part of work to make the former golf club clubhouse, housing the new cafe and garden centre, fully accessible.
Councillor Claire Rowntree, Hetton Councillor and Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, who as lead member for the project, chairs the Elemore Project Group, said: “We’re devastated that we won’t be able to open the café and garden centre as planned in November, but the most important thing is getting it right for our residents. It has to be perfect when it opens.
“As part of the work to make the building accessible we’ve had to remove a few walls and widen a few doors, and it was during this that we came across the problems with the drainage. Although it’s a bitter blow, at least we have uncovered the issues now rather than once the building was open which would have been even worse.”
“We’re now pressing ahead with work to renew the defective sections of drainage and complete the cafe and garden centre redevelopment, ready for its opening in March. We’ll also be inviting residents who signed up to be friends of the country park to come and have a walk around the building in the next few weeks.
“We’re also looking to work with local residents who have been instrumental in helping shape the plans for the country park, to bring the lake back to life and protect the ecology of the site and will be aiming to meet them on site soon.”
Planning permission for the rest of the site is currently progressing, with a decision due to be decided soon.