A petition to save a popular tearoom in a Northampton park from being relocated has been signed by 600 people in less than 24 hours.
The community campaigners trying to stop the Delapre Abbey tearoom from being moved from the walled garden to a smaller stable space said they have been “blown away” by the support they have received.
Nicola Hedges, a former chair of Friends of Delapré Abbey and volunteer at the tearoom, said: “The tearooms, with the seating in the walled garden, has become a favourite place to relax for residents of Far Cotton, Delapre, and the rest of Northampton.
“I am incredibly disappointed that the borough council are putting it under threat without properly talking to the community, let alone getting our support. The popularity of the petition is such a strong message – and I am really moved that people are getting so involved.”
The relocation of the Friends of Delapre Abbey-run business could reduce the seating capacity from 130 to just 28.
When the plans were approved towards the end of last year, Councillor Mick Ford (Lib Dem, Delapre) said:
“If you look at the side of the building, once you’ve put the catering facilities in there there will only be room for about eight covers inside and 20 outside.
“If you agree to this proposal, you are going to kill a charity.”
However, the plan was approved on the basis that extractor fans would not need to be installed in the new stables, which is currently used for functions.
The petition against the move was launched this week by Councillors Brendan Glynane, and Nicola Hedges – the Liberal Democrat FOCUS team in Delapre and Briar Hill - and has since been shared by community members through social media.
The FOCUS team are will be taking the petition onto doorsteps over the next few weeks.