New £7m Norwich car park due to open in May
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
A new £7m multi-storey car park in Norwich is on course to be used by drivers for the first time within weeks, after just over a year of construction work.
The 595-space Rose Lane car park is replacing Norwich City Council's current surface car park in the street, which council leaders say will pave the way for the regeneration of the area around King Street.
German company Huber Car Park Systems has been working on the car park – made of 504 tonnes of galvanised steel, since March last year.
The five-storey car park, which will also feature space which could be used as offices or a café, along with two sets of toilets, some of which will open at night, is due to open in May.
Mike Stonard, cabinet member for resources and income generation at Norwich City Council, said: 'Progress in the construction of the new car park has been exceptional, especially given the constraints of its tight city centre location.
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'When the new car park is completed, the former car park site will be released for further suitable development which will continue to improve and regenerate the wider area.
'The car park project has been an excellent example of how the council itself can successfully and appropriately stimulate regeneration.'
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The city council is hoping that up to a 100 homes can be built where the current surface car park is located.
At the planning stage, critics, including Green Thorpe Hamlet councillors Ben Price and Adrian Dearnley, raised concerns over increased traffic from the car park.
But highways bosses have insisted the car park is 'unlikely' to cause significant traffic issues.
The traffic shake-up in the city centre, which has seen Westlegate closed to traffic and Golden Ball Street made two-way, has been designed with the new car park in mind.
What do you think of the car park and the changes to traffic in the city centre? Write, giving contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email@example.com