Cafe gets go-ahead after appeal
After two-and-a-half years and an Environment Court hearing, the fate of an old Auckland corner store has been decided.
Formerly the Little Grocer, the court decided on appeal on August 23 that 311 Richmond Rd in Grey Lynn can now be developed into a cafe.
Auckland Council initially declined the resource consent for the cafe following an independent commissioners hearing.
Neighbours became aware in January 2014 that Oddfellows Holdings Ltd had purchased the site and were proposing a licensed, 60-seat cafe with a coffee roastery. Many of the neighbours opposed the cafe from the outset, their concerns include traffic risks, noise and amenity value to the area.
George Cowper, an Oddfellows director, says since the initial cafe announcement significant changes have been made to the proposed cafe.
The changes included reducing seating to 45 and reducing the size of the car park. The Environment Court decision states the changes have mitigated any adverse effects to the surrounding environment and consent should now be granted.
Jess Fowler, The Grey Lynn and Westmere Resident Society spokesperson, says ‘‘we are mystified as to why the Environment Court has effectively overruled the council’s own plans and decided a 45-seat cafe and car park are a good use of this residential site at a time when Auckland urgently needs houses’’.
The owner of 311 Richmond Rd wants it to become a flagship cafe.