Residents “Appalled” and “Angry” Over Town Council Car Park

Controversial car parking plans by Belper Town Council sees residents furious at new charges.

A car park behind St. John’s, which has been used by residents for free up until recently, has been leased by the Town Council from the church and will be redeveloped for the sum of £36k.

The Town Council have offered a third of the new spaces (10) to residents, though residents will now have to pay into a yearly permit scheme. It is proposed that the residents parking scheme, for the first trial year, will cost £303 for a space– on par with AVBC current pricing for annual car parking.

Andrew Wilson, a resident on St. John’s Road, said: “Belper Town Council are to spend £36k of public money on a car park for themselves then rent a third out to the public at £303 per year.”

He called the council “out of touch” and “reckless,” stating that “residents around St John’s chapel are appalled and angry.”

Belper Town Council state that the cost of £36k for the car park resurfacing is offset by the 3 years free rent they will receive. This reduces the cost to £12,900 which will be further reduced by the income from the residents parking permits (£9,090). The net cost to the Council is therefore £3,810.

The Council entered into a lease with St Peters Church to lease the land from 1 February 2018. They negotiated an increase in the number of parking spaces in the lease to a maximum of 31. They argue that the area at the side of the chapel was about to be closed over health and safety concerns and that the intervention of the Council has helped save the land.

What Is the Permit Parking Scheme?

The scheme is open to all Belper residents to apply, with permits being issued on a year by year basis. The first, a trial year, for the Scheme is set to begin in September 2018.

Belper Town Council, in a statement to Nailed, said that: “The area in question, is at the side of St Johns Chapel, it is owned by the Derby Diocese and managed by St Peters Church. The Land has been used as an informal car park for many years.

“The Town Council was granted a Licence to park 4 cars by the Diocese. Residents have, to the Council’s knowledge, not had consent to park on the area by the Church but have done so.

“The Council has for a number of years attempted to Lease the land from the diocese to use as a Car Park for the Chapel. In mid 2016, the Church offered the Council the possibility of Leasing the whole of the Land and marking out a maximum of 21 spaces. The Council was limited to 21 spaces as to access the car Park you have to drive over consecrated land.”

Residents have strongly objected to the possibility of having to pay £303 for the scheme to park for a year. They believe that a fee of £100 per annum per space is appropriate rather than £303 as decided by the Council.

Resident Jeni Smith told Nailed: “When I bought my house on St Johns Road (2017) I had additional searches done to see if there were plans for the land next to the church. I was thinking houses. No change of use showed up yet I believe BTC and St Peters church had entered an agreement in June. It is a shocking waste of land to use it as a car park for the councillor’s meetings. Where is the money coming from to do this?

“Part of BTC’s mission statement is “for the many, not the few.” 10 spaces may be made available for the people of Belper. At a recent council meeting it was voted that the lucky few would be “drawn from a hat.” This sounds like a very expensive and time-consuming way to do this rather than taking the first ten applicants as they had previously decided.

“None of this alleviates the parking problems and traffic flow on St Johns Road or shows any consideration for the residents. I am appalled by the behaviour and attitudes of BTC.”

Another concerned resident told Nailed that they currently live in St John’s Apartments but are hoping to move very soon, partly because of this issue.

AMMENDED 21/07/18

4 thoughts on “Residents “Appalled” and “Angry” Over Town Council Car Park

  • 22nd July 2018 at 4:38 pm
    Permalink

    I’m absolutely disgusted that the Town Council should be using public m9ney for parking spaces which they will use once a month?! On top of the that leasing the land will cost £300K and yet this same Council can’t find the funds to buy 5.5 acres of land behind Morrisons in a recent auction for just £31K. They seem to care only about themselves and not the people of Belper they claim to represent!!

    Reply
  • 23rd July 2018 at 9:15 am
    Permalink

    “A car park behind St. John’s, which has been used by residents for free up until recently, has been leased by the Town Council from the church and will be redeveloped for the sum of £36k.”
    No, a piece of land which has been ILLEGALLY used by local residents as a car park has been leased to the Town Council.
    I am led to believe that up to 21 car parking spaces will be used by councillors, staff and visitors to St Johns Chapel.
    If the land was closed by the Diocese for safety reasons, these cars would be parked on local car parks and streets around St Johns Chapel increasing problems, would the “appalled and angry” residents want that?
    “Residents have strongly objected to the possibility of having to pay £303 for the scheme to park for a year. They believe that a fee of £100 per annum per space is appropriate rather than £303 as decided by the Council.”
    Less than £1.00 per day doesn’t seem unreasonable for leasing your own off road dedicated car parking space in Belper. Someone has to pay for the management and maintenance of the car park.
    That’s the market rate set by Amber Valley Borough Council and applies to all the other car parks.
    Outside my workplace its £4.50 per day!
    “At a recent council meeting it was voted that the lucky few would be “drawn from a hat.” This sounds like a very expensive and time-consuming way to do this rather than taking the first ten applicants as they had previously decided.”
    OK, so what you are saying is those at the front of the queue should take priority, not that allocation should be by lottery to ALL the residents of Belper who may want to apply.
    That doesnt sound like equality to me, something you are criticising the Council about.
    I can understand the upset that losing the ability to freely park your car on someone elses land will now cost 10 people £303.00 per annum, but lets get real, this cosy illegal opportunism and convenience has come to an end.

    Reply
    • 30th June 2019 at 8:27 pm
      Permalink

      Could you please tell me the status of the car park as of 30 June 2019? I am negociating purchase of a property in St John’s Road and was told today by the vendor that the car park would be made avaiable to all in July 2019. Is this true or is the system referred to in your article still in place ie 10 residents’ places available at £300 pa on out of the hat basis?

      Reply
      • 1st July 2019 at 7:08 pm
        Permalink

        This issue is, to our knowledge, currently undecided. The new council intended to cancel the plans that were put in place by the previous administration, but there is a contract which now needs to be renegotiated with the Diocese. We have not been informed that an agreement has been reached yet, but we will enquire as to progress. The intent of the current Labour council is to erase the agreement and open the car park to the public. If you keep an eye on Nailed, we will publish a new article when the future status of the car park is confirmed.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GDPR, Your Data and Us: http://nailed.community/gdpr-your-data-and-us/

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.