Malmesbury councillors abandon plans for car park in Katifer Lane
MALMESBURY Town Council is set to abandon plans to spend around £30,000 on creating a car park for just eight people.
It has already obtained planning permission to demolish dilapidated garages at Katifer Lane, but now the policy and resources committee is recommending the scheme, which would have seen residents renting the spaces for £40 a year, should not go ahead.
The cost of converting the site and then maintaining it over the span of a 40-year lease was likely to be just over £150,000.
Cllr Roger Budgen explained: “The new council is taking a more strategic view on the issue of car parks, therefore we need to reflect on whether the town council wants to get into the ownership of parking as a policy.”
He warned going down that road risked setting a precedent putting the council under pressure to buy odd parcels of land around the town to create more parking.
“Given the cost looking forward over the lifetime of the project it does seem exceedingly expensive.”
With the loss of the rate support grant expected over the next two years it was a lot of money to expect the community as a whole to spend on eight spaces for a few people.
“I wouldn’t say it is a main factor, but clearly we are going to have to be budgeting much more tightly over the next few years,” he told the Standard.
The scheme, first proposed in 2011 as a way of alleviating congestion caused by on street parking, particularly after spaces at the Glovers Court complex were made off limits, had gone as far as seeking tenders for the demolition.
Spaces at Glovers Court, originally intended for the sheltered housing residents, were stopped up last year by Wiltshire Council to prevent them being used by other motorists, who were also blocking the ambulance bay.
A lease for Katifer Lane was drawn up with Greensquare Housing Association but has yet to be signed.
The committee has suggested that the housing association might be prepared to take on the project themselves.
“There are a number of options,” said Cllr Budgen. “One would be to see if any other organisation wants to move it on. A group of residents might also get together to take up the lease. We’re trying to strike a balance really.”
The recommendation is due to be discussed at the full council meeting on October 29.