South Liverpool bistro The Watering Can withdrew an initial application to extend its premises after the spread of what it called ‘misinformation’ and now it is back with a fresh application. Tony McDonough reports
A café bistro in Liverpool is looking to grow in size by more than 750 sq ft and is seeking planning consent from the city council.
Located on the outskirts of Greenbank Park, The Watering Can is a popular south Liverpool venue that employs around 43 people. It owners want to increase the footprint of its business within the boundary of the land it currently leases.
They say the plans have been sensitively designed to minimise intrusion, disruption and maintain the aesthetics of the current building and requirements of the conservation area. The extension would allow the venue to make a number of improvements.
These include to increase the size of the kitchen and storage areas to improve the working environment for its staff, particularly in terms of social distancing. It will also allow an increase in the food offering at the café and provide a staff room/wellness space for the team.
Growth of the walled garden seating area will allow better observation of social distancing, create a more welcoming space for guests and provide the same number of covers in an environment that offers more space. It will also allow more flexibility to accommodate wheelchairs and prams.
Its kiosk will also be extended to provide an enhanced all-year round offering for park visitors who do not wish to dine indoors.
The Watering Can submitted the original application in February 2021, which was put live a few weeks prior to the local council elections, and withdrew when it was targeted by political parties as part of their election campaigns.
The owners said that there was significant misinformation circulated creating unrest among the local community and those who objected to the original lease being granted.
They have used the time since the withdrawal to ensure that they are able to provide the answers to any questions or any concerns local residents and businesses may have. Full plans, planning statements, tree and planting plans, artists impressions, and a video can be found at www.thewateringcanliverpool.com
Owner, Keith Perryman said, “We understand that people are protective of their environment which is why the plans are sensitive to its surroundings. However, we also need to respond to and mitigate business challenges.
“We have taken time to make a really clear planning application, which has resulted in strong support so far. I just want to assure people, that as part of the application, we are not seeking additional seating and we want to make sure the changes in the planting of the borders in the walled garden are in keeping with native species.”
As well as working with local community groups, businesses and suppliers, The Watering Can is a frequent charity supporter and sponsor and is an LGBTQ+ safe space. In June it teamed up with with Liverpool Cares in a project to tackle loneliness.