A trial allowing 5.30 am opening of cafes in the main shopping areas of Cronulla, Gymea and Kirrawee has been extended after little response.
Only three cafes applied to take part in the initial trial period, from March to September, 2017, and only one complaint was received.
“The low participation in the trial may be due to the trial predominantly operating through winter,” a report by Sutherland Shire Council staff concluded.
The council unanimously agreed to continue the trial until the end of March this year to gauge the effect over summer.
Mayor Carmelo Pesce, who owns Bianchini’s Espresso at Cronulla and Gymea, and Cr Peter Scaysbrook, declared a pecuniary interest, left the chamber, took no part in the decision and did not vote.
Generally, cafes in town centres are approved to open from 6am, and to use outdoor tables and chairs from 7am.
Under the trial, cafes within Cronulla centre, parts of Gymea and Kirrawee were invited to apply to open at 5.30am and set up of outdoor furniture from 6.30am.
The staff report said only three cafes, HAM, Grind and Mint Organics Cafe, all of which are in Cronulla, applied.
“One complaint was received from a Cronulla resident living across the road from one of the participating cafes,” the report said.
“A balance ultimately needs to be struck between the preferences of the business community, cafe patrons and people living in close proximity to town centres.
“The complaint received was at the commencement of the trial [and] no further objections have been received from this resident or any others in response to the early opening of cafes.
“The lack of correspondence may indicate that the early opening of cafes in these centres may not be a significant issue for residents.
“A successful trial in Cronulla, Gymea and Kirrawee could result in a review of council’s DCP (development control plan) and an extension of this initiative to other business areas where there is a similar strong patronage of cafes in the early morning by commuters and others.”