Battery Green Car Park closure will hit Lowestoft high street say businesses
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The planned closure of a town centre car park will affect the high street say local business owners.
Battery Green Car Park will be closed on January 6 2017 and subsequently demolished, Waveney District Council confirmed today.
The council said the four-storey building had been deteriorating for years and repairs were not 'economically viable'.
Following the demolition the space will be used as a temporary car park before the land is put forward for development.
Tracy Metcalfe, manager of Wilkinsons, which is attached to the car park, said she hadn't heard about plans for the demolition.
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She said: 'It's going to affect the business. Lowestoft is screaming out for car parks.
'It is car parking we need in this town and it's such a shame because a lot of people do use that. It's just going to put pressure on everywhere else at the moment for the parking.'
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'To get to the next one it's the Britten Centre and to get in there is a nightmare whereas at least our one is on the ring road, it does get used quite a lot.'
Darren Newman, of Lowestoft Vision, said: 'Whilst we understand the reason for the closure and encourage any positive developments within the Business Improvement District, Lowestoft Vision is disappointed and annoyed that this decision has been made without consultation whatsoever with the business community'.
'In October Lowestoft Vision agreed with Waveney to fund free parking in this car park and the Britten Centre car park all day on Sundays and Wednesdays after 3pm until May 2017. This scheme has seen trade in the town on Sundays boosted and we are disappointed that one of the agreed car parks for use will know be closed'.
'Lowestoft Vision and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce will of course be looking to recover our investment.'
In October of this year the car park's opening hours were cut due it not being used and a number of anti-social incidents.
Matthew Archer, Director of Lowestoft Electrical Company, said: 'It's not good for the high street.
'It's the largest, closest car park to the town centre so it's not a positive thing.
'People are always complaining about parking or they come in to speak to us about some thing and they've constantly clock watching. They should offer cheaper parking.'
Susan Patterson, Store Manager of Palmers Department Store on London Road, said: 'It will make a big difference because it's a busy car park.'
Cllr Mike Barnard, Waveney's cabinet member for Resources, said: 'The Battery Green car park has served the town for many years however the structure has eroded significantly to a point where it is no longer feasible to repair it. The car park is not well used.
'It is now important that we look at this decision as an exciting opportunity and we have already started to look at a number of very interesting redevelopment options for the site which will regenerate this area and bring growth to the town.'