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Council car park growth blasted as ‘short-sighted’ in light of climate targets

PUBLISHED: 18:42 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:42 24 February 2020

Plans to expand the staff car park at Norfolk County Council have been branded short-sighted and unimaginative by horrified neighbours and campaigners. Pictured, County Hall in Norwich. Photo: Neil Perry

Plans to expand the staff car park at Norfolk County Council have been branded short-sighted and unimaginative by horrified neighbours and campaigners. Pictured, County Hall in Norwich. Photo: Neil Perry

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Plans to expand the staff car park at Norfolk County Council have been branded “short-sighted and unimaginative” by “horrified” neighbours and campaigners.

Plans to expand the staff car park at Norfolk County Council have been branded short-sighted and unimaginative by horrified neighbours and campaigners. Pictured, County Hall in Norwich. Photo: Neil PerryPlans to expand the staff car park at Norfolk County Council have been branded short-sighted and unimaginative by horrified neighbours and campaigners. Pictured, County Hall in Norwich. Photo: Neil Perry

The council plans to ramp up staff parking provision as it relocates more than 500 employees from Carrow House to County Hall throughout the upcoming months.

But it has been blasted for encouraging car use immediately after agreeing a zero emissions target - of just ten years time.

An application for the plans was published on the council's website in December and met with fury from outraged campaigners and those living near Martineau Lane.

In November, the council set itself an "ambitious target" of net zero carbon emissions across its sites by 2030. The plans, for 128 extra slots and a single parking deck in the existing 1,160 space site, have been criticised as "doing nothing to help achieve this".

People living on Conesford Drive also expressed concerns about an increase in car park use during football matches, as well as a loss of privacy, disruption from the building works, and a lack of consultation over the application.

READ MORE: Concern over new car park at County Hall

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Lucy Whatrup said she was "horrified" at the "short-sighted and unimaginative" plans.

She added: "The council seems to be sorely lacking in the ability to solve problems creatively within the government's desires to tackle climate change."

While Joan Christodoulides, from the Conesford Drive and Churston Close Environment Group, also criticised the lack of provision for electric charging points and said: "The application has failed to demonstrate any vision in regard to sustainable transport. Such an increase in parking should not be permitted."

READ MORE: County Hall car park expansion could be the end for bowls club, members fear

While Martin and Angela Armstrong added: "The council already recognises the serious impact of climate change and has advocated 'an ambitious and bold environmental policy'. Your plan to expand car parking facilities does nothing to help the achievement of this objective."

A council spokeswoman said the council was moving staff and enabling remote working "to cut the need for travel and parking".

She added: "Our next step is to move 540 people in the next eight months. To manage the loss of 141 parking spaces at Carrow House, we are looking to increase parking at County Hall by 128 spaces.

"The proposal is subject to a planning application and we encourage residents to feed back their comments as part of this process."

READ MORE: 'Justify it': challenge over County Hall car park expansion bid


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