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Car park plan is a 'waste of money' - claim

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 18th November 1999.

RESIDENTS say a council plan to redevelop a car park, then build another one nearby, is a complete waste of money and will cause parking mayhem near their homes.
More than 200 people have signed a petition organised by Peter and Daphne Fleming of Helions Walk, Haverhill, against St Edmundsbury County Council's plan to build houses on part of the Town Hall car park.
The council is planning to build a new car park on the adjacent former Cleales site, which it recently bought to provide a rear service road for the High Street.
Mr Fleming, 71, said the 215 signatures were gathered in just three hours at the car park when residents first discovered the council's plans in August.
He said their views have been ignored and that they had not been told about the moves at a council meeting today for the new car park scheme to go ahead.
"Obviously we don't want the houses and lorries going past our front door, but it is just so unnecessary, a complete waste of time and money.
"There are 203 spaces in the car park and by 12 o'clock on a Saturday it is full. They won't get 203 spaces on the Cleales site which has large trees and a seven to eight foot drop.
"It is going to cause mayhem as far as parking is concerned because about 15 to 20 cars park in the Cleales service road so they don't have to pay and we are going to get them parking in front of our houses.
"We asked for the trees to be cut back a bit to give us more light and we were told they are protected. Now they are just going to rip them out and ignore our protests," Mr Fleming said.
Members of the Council's Transport and Works Committee are recommended at their meeting this afternoon to note the petition, but still submit a planning application for car parking and rear servicing on the former Cleales site.
Around 200,000 is expected to be spent clearing the site and designing a scheme before a further report to the Committee in March.
Steve Boor, of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the existing car park area was felt to have better development potential because it had a frontage onto Duddery Hill, while the former Cleales site had no frontage.
No firm decisions had yet been made about how many spaces would be lost and the plan could be changed to develop the Cleales site if councillors found compelling reasons to do so.

Haverhill Weekly News

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