Greenbank Park cafe withdraws controversial plans

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Plans to extend the Watering Can Café in Greenbank Park have been withdrawn.

Greenbank Park has proven popular during lockdown / © Rept0n1x

The plans submitted to Liverpool City Council would have seen the south Liverpool café extend to allow it to deal with social distancing measures put in place by the government due to Covid-19 restrictions.

A campaign to prevent the extension plans saw a petition set up last month with the message “We simply cannot afford to lose more green space in the city.” The online petition has gained just under 2,500 supporters on change.org.

According to the petition page, the building’s size would increase by almost 75m² (about 800 square feet) which would take green space away from the Marie Curie walled garden.

Dan Fieldsend of the Greenbank Greens said: “It is a huge asset and is only a small park which makes its value more important and the need to protect it from being built on even more crucial.

“At a time when mental health is under threat from lockdowns, we need our parks as a way of accessing some peace and stillness.”

While many people took to social media to support the campaigh to protect the park and criticize the plans, some angry responses targeted cafe staff with abuse.

The Watering Can Café released a statement on Facebook outlining their disappointment of the treatment of staff due to the planning application.

The statement read: “We are deeply saddened to have seen a barrage of emotive mis-information being shared regarding our plans and our operational intentions.

“Unfortunately, this has resulted in disproportionate, negative and ill-informed social media comments being shared.

“This escalated into defamatory comments being made and our staff have been verbally abused by members of the public.

“We are passionate operators of The Watering Can, we care about our amazing team, we are proud to call Greenbank Park our home, and, we are grateful to have so many fantastic loyal customers.”

The Greenbank Greens released a statement from the Liverpool Green Party on Twitter saying they “condemn any abuse or harassment of the cafe management or employees.”

About Will Rayment, JMU Journalism