Newark and Sherwood District Council looks to give go ahead to London Road Carpark extension despite reduced need for spaces since 2019
A council looks set to push ahead with plans to extend Newark’s London Road Carpark, despite figures showing a reduced need for spaces since 2019.
A recommendation to tomorrow's (Thursday) Newark and Sherwood District Council’s policy and finance committee is for more carparking spaces — which will mean the felling of mature trees.
Council documents reveal a usage review saw a 1.7% increase across all council carparks between 2019 and 2020.
However, London Road Carpark (including the annex) saw a 12.8% decrease overall during the same period.
In 2019 to 2020 (not affected by covid-19) a total of 217,553 London Road Carpark tickets were issued compared to 249,522 in 2018 to 2019.
The period 2020 to 2021 saw a slightly lesser reduction in usage on the previous year — which would have been affected by coronavirus — with 190,532 tickets being issued.
A third protest to fight the plans, which were given planning permission in 2017, was held around Newark’s remaining green spaces on Saturday.
The protesters are also due to hold a demonstration outside the district council’s offices, Castle House, before the committee meeting tomorrow evening.
The extension to the carpark, planned for land between Bishops Place apartments and Newark Library, has been described by environmentalists as destructive and not wanted by the community.
A Protect Newark’s Green Spaces spokesman said: “The council’s plans for this go back as far as 2016 and were largely based on parking estimates in 2017 and 2018.
“The same council declared a climate emergency strategy in September 2020. While this is an admirable document — detailing how carbon emissions will be reduced — it completely ignores just three of the trees which may be destroyed at the Library Gardens are currently storing a total of 9.297 tonnes of carbon.
“Planting of trees and preserving mature trees is not mentioned in this strategy document although there are some pictures of trees in it.”
The council signed a 25-year lease with JAJ (owner of Bishops Place) to use the land in question for council-managed public carparking.
The original carpark plans have been recommended for approval.
Other options include seeking to negotiate with JAJ to buy back the land; do a revised scheme (the approved extension but retain one tree nearest the Municipal Building) subject to planning permission; or do nothing and provide a carpark at some point before the end of the lease period.