A development application is before Council for a restaurant and café in the heritage listed cottage, Bellevue, in Blackwattle Park at Glebe Point. As Glebe Society President, Allan Hogan, explained on the front page of the last Bulletin (No 1 of 2018), there are pros and cons with this.

What are the pros? The beloved café would open again and a new restaurant would come online; but most importantly, Bellevue, through its occupation, will be protected rather than risking continuing neglect by disuse. As Allan stated in his article, ‘The Society believes that the preservation and maintenance of Bellevue, and its value as a community amenity, is most likely to be achieved if the building has a permanent tenant. The Society does not favour any particular tenant but understands that if the lease limits the possibility of a successful commercial venture, the building could become an empty shell with the dangers that poses to its preservation.’

As for the cons … Can the local streets handle the additional traffic and parking issues that may well result from a restaurant staying open late into the evening? Will the noise from departing jolly diners disturb neighbours in this normally peaceful neighbourhood? In our submission to Council on the DA in January, the Society demanded that issues of parking, noise, hours of operation, and landscaping be addressed before approval was granted.

We have received a couple of letters from members reflecting the pros and cons and these are reproduced below:

Dear Editor,

Although there seem to be protests about the opening hours for Bellevue until 10pm, I wonder if this is an over-reaction? We all, I am sure, miss having it open and loved it when it was – but it’s clearly not viable to have to close by 7pm.

Bellevue is down the hill at a fair distance from the last house and I imagine many people going there would walk as there is very little parking nearby. I would encourage people to support this proposal as people talking inside a restaurant would not be heard and a few cars up and down the street before 10pm should not be too much of a problem, should it?

Let’s do all we can to make sure we support this proposal.

Christine Stewart

Dear Editor,

I was pleased to hear Bellevue Cottage may soon open as a café again. That is, until I saw the DA. It is proposed to open seven days a week, from6am to 10pm, for up to 248 patrons.

It is a cottage. As I remember, it has three or four toilets. The DA must be an ambit claim. There are two Disabled Parking spaces at the entrance – and no other parking. What folly is this?

The only way back to Glebe Point Rd from Bellevue Cottage is via Oxley and Stewart Sts. I live in Stewart St, comprised of four strata blocks (73 units in all) with parking for one vehicle per unit. It has no legal parking at all. Residents with more than one car per unit must park in Oxley or Leichhardt Sts. Residents of terraces in Leichhardt St, with no off-street parking, are forced to park long distances from their homes at night now. Tradesmen and couriers have difficulty finding even temporary parking in business hours. Visitors already park on our driveways and our lawns, without consent. The DA proposes that patrons of the ‘up-market French café’ will be encouraged to use public transport – buses, light rail, car-sharing – or even bicycles. Lycra-clad diners? It is a fantasy. Unrealistic and disproportionate – for a quiet but densely populated residential area.

Sixty five objections have been submitted. An amended, more appropriate proposal is needed.

Janet Simpson