HUNDREDS of people have shown their support for a tea room and its plans to put seating on Southsea Common.
Mark Hogan, who runs The Parade Tearooms in Western Parade, Southsea, has put in an application to extend the venue’s outdoor seating on to the common.
The application has attracted 75 public comments – both for and against – that will be considered by councillors at Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee today at 2pm.
Mr Hogan, from Southsea, has also collected more than 2,500 signatures in support of the seating.
He said: ‘We have collected all those signatures in just 10 days. It’s a good thing for the city. We will be extending by 36 seats, which is 0.0001 per cent of the common. It is such a small area.
‘It will be a temporary structure, which will be under review by the council and can be removed.
‘It’ll bring money in for the council, through rates and parking fees. It will be good for walkers, and dog walkers, and generally for the people of Portsmouth.’
The 100-seat cafe opened in August 2015 and since then has proved popular.
It now employs 20 people, which Mr Hogan said would increase if the seating was given the go-ahead.
Mr Hogan, a former taxi driver, spent thousands converting the former electricity substation into the cafe.
He said: ‘It has been such a success story. We are so popular, we see queues every day. The council should be encouraging small businesses like mine. I would like to open up more sites and create more jobs.’
But not everybody is in agreement with the application, which includes a raised balcony and planter on the west side and landscaping works including building raised planters on the east side.
Christine Dunn, from Western Parade, wrote to the council. She said: ‘This has always been a hard street to park in, since this tearooms opened you can forget it.
‘I feel sorry for residents working who come home and cannot park at various times in the day. With an extension it will be even worse.’
To sign the petition go to bit.ly/2nwsQry or call into the tea rooms.