YANCHEP Lagoon Cafe operators, staff and customers are planning a protest this Sunday against a City of Wanneroo decision to reject all lease submissions.
During a confidential session at their September 13 meeting, councillors agreed to reject all expressions of interest submitted in April – there had been 38 submitted, with 11 of those providing stage two submissions.
Instead of providing a five-year lease to one submitter as recommended in a July report, the council decided to invite applications for short-term leases of up to six months, and explore having food vans in the area.
The council also endorsed a strategic review into the use of the site, including retaining the existing building and the potential to redevelop it.
Sue and Peter Morgan have had a sub-lease for the site since November 2007, and were the recommended tenants in the July report, which staff withdrew from that agenda to consult a probity adviser.
The day after the council meeting, the Morgans received an email from the City advising them of the council’s decision and that their sub-lease would expire on September 30.
“We have been given a 14-day extension to remove everything,” Mrs Morgan said.
She said their last day of trading would be September 25 and there would be a community protest at 11am amid fears there would be nowhere for people to buy refreshments this summer.
“We are really sad for the community there. It’s an iconic place – we know the demand for refreshments there through the summer,” she said
“A lot of our customers, our regulars, are seniors – a food van for them is just not the same (as sitting in a cafe).”
Mrs Morgan said they had asked to be considered for the short-term lease and have “an extra six months to see everyone through the summer”.
They have started an online petition , saying other businesses are unlikely to take up a six-month lease when the premises requires a complete fit out and food vans would restrict the already limited parking.
Made public following the meeting, the September 13 report said the kiosk was built in the late 1960s or early 1970s.
“Through its prime location and current lack of competition, an extensive upgrade and change of image would improve its potential to increase patronage and provide a quality service,” the report stated.
Administration comment included in the minutes acknowledged that the lagoon area lacked “food, beverage and beach supply retailers” and that closing the premises posed a “reputational risk” for the City as the busy summer season approached.