Sunderland City Council is continuing work to ensure the newly transformed Elemore National Park Cafe and Garden Center is perfect when it opens in March.
The council had hoped to open the cafe, garden and visitor center at the old Elemore golf course next month, but unforeseen drainage problems mean they will now open in March.
The problems were discovered when the floors were taken over as part of work to make the golf club’s former clubhouse, housing the new cafe and garden centre, fully accessible.
Councilor Claire Rowntree, Councilor Hetton and Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, who as a senior project member chairs the Elemore Project Group, said: “We are devastated that we cannot open the cafe and the center garden as planned in November, but the most important thing is to do things right for our residents, it has to be perfect when it opens.
“As part of the work to make the building accessible, we had to knock down a few walls and widen a few doors, and it was during this work that we encountered evacuation problems. Even if it’s a blow hard, at least we found out about the issues now rather than once the building was open which would have been even worse.”
“We are now continuing work to renew the faulty drainage sections and complete the redevelopment of the cafe and garden center, ready for its opening in March. We will also be inviting residents who have signed up to become friends of the park to come and have a tower in the building in the coming weeks.
“We are also looking to work with local residents who have helped shape the plans for the national park, bringing the lake back to life and protecting the ecology of the site and will endeavor to meet with them on site soon.”
The building permit for the rest of the site is currently in progress, with a decision to be taken soon.