Cafe is ‘triple whammied’ by road diversion
FOR Tingira Cresent’s popular Sunrise Beach cafe this has been the triple whammy that may push them to the edge after surviving the disruptions of nearby road sink hole repairs, then the COVID-19 service restrictions of takeaways only.
Chalet & Co Cafe owners Will Lillecrapp and wife Connie Pai said they understand the importance of the Orealla Cres bridge replacement now underway, but have been startled to suddenly lose substantial street parking as traffic is detoured into their street from David Low Way.
“We’ve lost 70 per cent of our parks I’d say maybe more,” Mr Lillecrapp said.
Mr Lillecrapp said the council does allow parking on the other side of the street for short stays, but “people park there for hours at the moment, it hasn’t been policed yet”.
“There’s been no impact plan, not that I’ve seen.
“I just see people, our regulars not being able to come down … they’re usually keen to support our business,” he said.
“We were seeing the light as we were going to be able to seat 10 people (as of Saturday), but where are we are people going to park now?”
Mr Lillecrapp said when the sinkhole took out the road it had an immediate impact on his business.
“I’d say we would have been down 30 per cent, and council did not once come and speak to us about what was going on … and council’s meant to be for us,” he said.
He said the COVID-19 restrictions have being a double whammy taking out another 30 per cent of trade.
“I’d say we’d be at about 40 per cent capacity (pre road and virus troubles),” he said.
Since opening for trade in 2016 on the old Chalet accommodation site, the couple have established a thriving business, which Mr Lillecrapp estimates has dropped 60 per cent in recent months.
“What I’m concerned about is there’s been a lack of (Noosa Council) communication, we didn’t know all the parking was going to be taken away until last Friday,” Mr Lillecrapp said.
“Come and knock on my door and say gidday, it’s not hard.”
Mr Lillecrapp said he was contacted on Thursday night by Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie to discuss his issues.
“He just asked me what I wanted to happen and I said ‘give me some parking back on our side’,” he said.
“Frank did say ‘we did send out a letter’, and I said ‘that’s great Frank, we know that it’s going to happen, but what’s happening?”
“Initially they (council) were saying abouth three weeks (to fix the road slip) and three and a half-months later …”
Council infrastructure delivery manager Craig Eldridge said four short-term customer parking spaces would be available and some on-street parking near the cafe during the bridge replacement works.
He said council’s project team has had numerous on-site discussions with cafe owners in recent weeks to discuss the initiatives and no issues were raised by the during those talks.
“Our liaison officers have spoken to residents in the area regularly, in an attempt to address any issues that may have been raised, prior to the project starting,” Mr Eldridge said.
“We acknowledge this significant project will have an impacts during construction and we have had to temporarily remove some car parking to allow two lanes of traffic to move safely through the area.”
The four 15 minute parking bays were in front of the cafe for clients and 12 spaces will be available in that section on Tingira Cres with a longer parking time limit.
“We are doing all we can, given the limitations of such a large construction project,” he said.
Mr Eldridge said council would monitor usage of time restricted parking in the area and further changes could be implemented, if required.