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Campaigner's maths suggests Newark London Road Carpark extension would represent financial loss for district council

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Maths done by an environmental campaigner suggests the London Road Carpark extension in Newark would represent a financial loss.

The protester claims Newark and Sherwood District Council will lose money if the plans, which are being voted on tonight, are to go ahead.

They say the extension will only bring a total of 18 new carparking spaces despite the council stating it would provide 32. The source told the Advertiser the council did not consider a loss of 14 spaces in the annex which have been given to residents of Bishops Place apartments.

Protest against tree felling at Newark Library (48642325)
Protest against tree felling at Newark Library (48642325)

Based on the campaigner's calculations, with the carpark being used seven days a week/365 days a year, they said — based on their council's own usage figures — each space would on average generate £5.25 a day.

This would bring in a total of £34,500, or £28,750 if the council owes VAT.

They say the extension would cost around £115,000, spread over the 25-year lease term signed with Datch Properties Ltd is £4,600 per year.

People gathered in London Road Carpark for a protest.
People gathered in London Road Carpark for a protest.

Take that figure from the potential net income, and you get £24,150.

This total is less than the lease amount agreed (£30,000 per year) meaning, if correct, the council will actually lose money from the project.

The Advertiser asked Newark and Sherwood District Council for a response and this is what its deputy leader Keith Girling had to say:

“There is lots of information flying around, plenty of which is inaccurate and misleading.

Keith Girling. (51416949)
Keith Girling. (51416949)

“The bottom line is that we have a very difficult choice to make, to balance our concern and care for the environment with our duty to tax payers across the whole district of Newark and Sherwood.

“The contractual arrangements we are in mean that we either build a carpark and sadly have to remove four trees or we have to pay £650,000 (not build a carpark and therefore not remove the trees) with this cost being picked up by tax payers.”

The Advertiser asked the council to clarify whether the above statement's reference to inaccuracies related to the campaigner's figures above, or misinformation in general.

However, the council refused to elaborate on this statement ahead of the full council tonight (Tuesday), where a decision vote on the carpark extension is due to take place.

Datch Properties Ltd was the owner of Bishops Place at the time planning permission for the carpark extension was granted in 2017. The company signed a 25-year lease with the district council to develop the land in question for council-operated public carparking.

However, ownership now lies with JAJ Developments.

A JAJ spokesman said: "To be clear, we object to the destruction of the trees to the rear of our building and support those objecting to it."

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