Council To Consider Proposals For New Swiss Tearooms Building
Amber Valley Borough Council’s Cabinet will be asked on 21 March 2018, to consider proposals, which if approved, will commit funding for the construction of a new Swiss Tearooms Building within Belper River Gardens.
The proposal has been developed following an independent study commissioned by the Council, which looked at whether a new Swiss Tearooms would be financially viable and to what scale a new building should be. The proposal reflects the findings of the study, which recommended a simpler design than earlier proposals.
If approved, it is estimated that the new building will cost up to £290,000 to design and build. The Council would be looking to work in partnership with the Belper Community Enterprise, which has been fundraising for a replacement Swiss Tearooms, and Belper Town Council, which previously committed up to £100,000 towards the project.
A Council spokesperson said:
“This proposal, if approved, will ensure that the funding is in place to build a new Swiss Tearooms. Following approval, the next stages will be to commission a design, obtain planning permission and identify an operator to run the facility, so that it can be built as soon as possible for residents and visitors to start enjoying.”
The report strays significantly in its recommendations from what has been proposed by the Belper Tea Rooms Community Interest Company ( CIC). Over the past two years the group has been developing a plan and raising funds from the community to create a proposal that Trevor Griffin – Director of the CIC – described as being “sympathetic to what George Herbert Strutt wanted from the original building.”
Cllr Neville criticised the AVBC report, stating that: “The consultants have rejected the Belper Tea Rooms Commmunity Interest Company ( CIC) plan for a multi-use new tea rooms in favour of a smaller much cheaper building which they call ‘a kiosk.’
“Having used the consultant report to rubbish all the work of the Tea Room CIC there is no mention in the Cabinet report of any public consultation.
“In their last minute desperate plan to be seen to be doing something before the May elections the council leadership looks to be making another mess of the Tea Rooms problem.”
7 thoughts on “Council To Consider Proposals For New Swiss Tearooms Building”
If it’s only going to be a smaller,cheaper
” kiosk” then it can’t possibly need £290000 !! We might as well let a concession in with a gazebo for rain cover – at least we could get a cup of tea and you could charge them rent so it won’t cost us anything !
I am so disappointed with the way the whole thing has been processed .
BELPER RIVER GARDENS TEA ROOMS PROBLEM – AVBC TORIES RUSHING TO GET IT WRONG AGAIN ?
I recomment that people read the reports on the Tea Rooms for 21st March AVBC Cabinet meeting on the AVBC website – Having left the Tea Rooms to rot for many years, it is clear that the Council leadership is now panicking: 1. about the imminent collapse of the building ”In late 2017 concerns were raised as to the condition of the current Swiss Tearooms building, which has deteriorated significantly with large holes present within the roof structure.” 2. about the possibility of losing £86,500 section 106 funding because they have failed to act sooner. ”A further risk to the project is that in most instances where section 106 funds are not drawn down within five years, then the developer is entitled to seek a refund of the sums.” 3. the possible loss of Belper Town Council funding of £100,000 ” The Council may serve notice to terminate this Agreement if the Grant Recipient has not satisfied the Conditions of Grant, clause 1.2 of this Agreement by 31 March 2018.” They have payed a catering consultancy ( how much ? ) to come up with a project analysis. The consultants have rejected the Belper Tea Rooms Commmunity Interest Company ( CIC) plan for a multi use new tea rooms in favour of a smaller much cheaper building which they call ‘a kiosk’ Having used the consultant report to rubbish all the work of the Tea Room CIC there is no mention in the Cabinet report of any public consultation. The Tea Room CIC have responded by pointing out that the Council has sat on their business plan since 2016 without comment. In their last minute desperate plan to be seen to be doing something before the May elections the council leadership looks to be making another mess of the Tea Rooms problem.
No surprise at all that Belper is being fobbed off by our disgraceful local council. Amber Valley regard Belper as a cash cow to be concreted over by unscrupulous developers so they can increase their revenue whilst spending the bare minimum on the town. It’s a crying shame that Belper can’t secede from Amber Valley and join Derbyshire Dales. If the best they can do is a “kiosk” we’d be better off dropping the Tea Rooms and putting down hard standing for a burger van. A useless decision from a useless local authority.
Thank you Maurice,
This is from section 6.15 of the Replacement Swiss tearooms report to be submitted to the AVBC Cabinet on the 21st of March.
“the sustainable building option would be a kiosk with kitchenette and internal and external seating, costing around £250,000, like the facility at Romsey War Memorial Park”.
See the images attached to the report here:
Readers can access the full report here under the relevant Cabinet papers for the 21st of March 2018:
It is also useful to know that the public can attend the Cabinet Meeting on Wed 21st March at 10.30am and can alert the committee in advance ( just ring the council) that they would like to ask a question about this matter- or anything else on the agenda. The more public scrutiny of council business the better ! This important decision should of course be examined at Full Council in the evening when more members of the public could attend – but for some reason it is not on the agenda for all councillors to have the opportunity discuss openly and properly.
It looks as if we are not going to have much choice, as once the council has made a decision, that will be it, and the consultation appears to be minimum.
The threat of withdrawal of the Town Council’s grant is serious as this would make the chances of raising the sum needed for the Community Enterprise plan much weaker.
The original building is about to collapse; this is another serious drawback to long-term plans to re-build.
The Council’s plan includes no toilet facilities in the ‘kiosk’, this is a weakness of the cheaper option as washing and toilet facilities for catering near the play and picnic area are important. Lots of families with young children and babies use the park.
I think we’ve got to be realistic but I am cautious about being palmed off with an inferior option in attempt by the the Council to get them ‘off the hook’ and save their reputation in time for the election.
The council’s decision to withdraw funding from the North Mill Museum from 2020 looks even crazier now – the visitors to the museum would be an obvious help to a Tea Rooms and vice versa. A new non Tory council in May could be the answer !
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