Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson states that he has been forced to submit a rescission motion after Randwick Council agreed to allow a local café to expand its operations against the vehement opposition of local residents.
Councillor Matson wants Council to organise a mediation session between objecting residents and the popular Lion and Buffalo Café in South Coogee.
He says that residents are complaining of noise and encroachment onto public spaces and he now wants the café owners to negotiate with them over:
- The re-establishment of a privacy fence that was in place when the previous vet practice used the site;
- A restriction on the number of outdoor seating allowed outside the café; and
- Bringing the café operations into line with what prevailed at other cafes in the area.
He asserts that other Councillors made a mistake when last Tuesday they knocked back a proposal by himself and Labor Councillor Geoff Stevenson that the Café’s development application by the café be deferred to allow mediation between impacted-on residents and the applicants.
A massive petition gathered by the Café was presented by Liberal East Ward Councillor Brendan Roberts who attempted to move amendments against Councillor Matson’s opposition in favouring of greater extensions for the Café. Councillor Matson claims that the petition ”represents the opinion of café customers rather than the complaints of residents immediately impacted on by noise and privacy issue’s around the café”.
Councillor Matson is also critical of a “sophisticated” social media campaign being run by the café to allow it to expand its commercial activities into an adjacent reserve.
Councillor Matson says that he that he always opposed creeping commercialisation of Council reserves and open space in Coogee.
“Supporters of the Lion and Buffalo Café love the lifestyle experience offered by it in that lovely area of Coogee. But they may not realise the stress its operations are causing immediate neighbours. This stress is being exacerbated by its intention to commercially take over the use of the adjacent reserve. Sometimes we love an experience so much that we destroy what we love about it.