A “typo” in a council letter is blamed for a Cronulla cafe-restaurant being bombarded with complaints from alarmed residents.
Gerrale Street Kitchen sought approval in a development application (DA) to set up outdoor tables and chairs from 7am each day, an hour earlier than permitted at present.
The DA said the finishing time of 10pm would remain unchanged.
However, a letter from Sutherland Shire Council to residents, which was part of the normal DA consultation process, gave the proposed end time as 3am.
The cafe-restaurant is at the bottom of the up-market Sammut apartments development in Gerrale Street.
Mayor Carmelo Pesce asked senior council officers to investigate when the matter was raised with him this week.
Cr Pesce said his initial advice was there had been a ‘typo’ in the letter, and the council would write to residents to correct the error.
Chris Feros, of the Feros Group, which owns Gerrale Street Kitchen, said, “I understand people make mistakes, but it is very disappointing”.
“We have had people coming in and abusing staff,” he said.
“We are very much about respect for the community, and we would never have asked for something like that.”
Mr Feros said he did not think their application to put tables and chairs outside an hour earlier in the morning was unreasonable.
“At present, we are allowed to open at 7am, but not put operate outdoors until 8am,” he said.
“Other places are starting at 6.30am, and we just want to be competitive.
“Cronulla people like to get up early for fitness and are then looking for healthy food.
“Many don’t realise we are open.
“We are missing out on the early momentum other places are getting.”
The DA for the extra hour a day in outdoor trading said no change was proposed to the approved capacity of the area, which is 45 patrons.
“No other changes are proposed to the operation of the premises,” it said.
An acoustic report said noise levels would generally comply with the applicable criteria, subject to a maximum patron capacity in the outdoor area of 45 patrons.