Takapuna cafe in row over tables

PUBLIC SPACE: Jam Cafe's diners share their tables on Hurstmere Green with the public.
PUBLIC SPACE: Jam Cafe's diners share their tables on Hurstmere Green with the public.

Concerns that Takapuna's Jam Cafe is being allowed to use public open space as part of its business have been put to rest.

The $2.8 million makeover of Hurstmere Green was completed last November and since ten tables from the cafe have been regularly set up on the new decked area.

Jam Cafe owner Julie Glasgow said she believed there was an understanding with Auckland Council whereby the cafe was allowed to put chairs and tables on the deck for a short period of time.

This would be a form of compensation for having to deal with almost a year of inconvenience caused by construction in the park.

The tables and chairs were brought to the attention of Devonport Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby late last year by residents who felt commercial activity had no place on a public reserve.

Darby approached Takapuna Beach Business Association chairman Peter White who along with council officers discussed a way forward with the cafe owners, he said.

''The issue isn't the consumption of lunch and coffees in the park - that's what we want to see happening,'' Darby said.

''The issue is with the furniture and the deck being seen as an extension of the cafe.''

Council staff have since ordered their own tables and chairs to go on the deck outside the cafe and these will be for public use.

''We're on to it and we're looking at a solution that fits everybody, not just one particular party,'' Darby said.

Jam Cafe will not be able to reserve the tables or put condiments and menus on them but customers are welcome to sit there, as are customers from the surrounding eateries, Darby said.

Until the new furniture arrives Glasgow has put notes on the five cafe tables which encroach on to the park letting people know they are for public use.

The Jam Cafe site is owned by Wiltshire Property Group, owners of the adjoining office building and neighbouring Colmar Brunton Building. Director Ben Wiltshire is the executive chair of the Takapuna Beach Business Association.

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