MJ’s Cake Cafe in Middleton St George applied to provide craft activities such as cake decorating, painting and charity events to create an additional source of income for the business and secure its future.
The owner, Shalona Beaumont, also requested permission to allow customers to use outdoor picnic benches to create more space.
Yet the application was in question in August when Darlington Borough Council planning officers recommended it be rejected.
Committee members heard there is traffic congestion across Middleton St George and the use of external seating areas “would likely result in an increase in parking demand in an area where there are already parking problems”, a council report added.
Final decision on the motion was delayed until Wednesday, when a majority of members voted in favor of the expansion. At the meeting, residents praised the cafe as a “gem and community asset” given its success.
Local councilor Deborah Laing said the company was not responsible for parking problems in the village.
She added: “I’ve been there for 31 years and don’t see a problem. If there were problems with parking, it had nothing to do with the cafe.”
For Ms. Beaumont, she said common sense had finally prevailed.
“I lost revenue because people weren’t willing to sit in the cafe because it was too hot, but we still had support from people willing to do takeaway,” she said.
“It was very hard and put a damper on my business and family life because I didn’t sleep. For me it was a stupid and easy decision when you come from the village. We got a lot of support from everyone and it was great to see how everyone was there for us.
“It’s just a shame that they have to do a lot of research and look at the area when planning. Some of the objections were absurd and I’m just glad they were accepted.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23772303.mjs-cafe-middleton-st-george-expand-despite-traffic-concerns/?ref=rss MJ’s Café in Middleton St George is set to expand despite traffic problems