Wharf Road looks set to remain long-stay

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THE leader of the district council is backing a bid to keep Wharf Road car park in Stamford long stay.

Consultation ends today on the proposal to change the car park and it will go before South Kesteven District Council’s cabinet on February 7.

But ahead of the meeting, district council leader Linda Neal (Con) said: “Although we have yet to receive the full report, in light of the feedback received so far, I will be supporting a move at cabinet to keep Wharf Road as long stay until we have completed our fundamental review of car parking in spring 2012.”

Coun Neal said that the proposal had originally come from “early indications that the change would be of benefit to the town”.

A report by the district council based on ticket sales at Wharf Road showed two thirds of users stay for a maximum of three hours.

Coun Neal added: “We have listened to everyone that has taken the time and trouble to respond to the consultation so far and we need to understand the issues raised more fully.”

Bill and Caroline Strain, of Danegeld Place, Stamford, collected 800 signatures on a petition, which was presented to the district council’s chief executive Beverly Agass last week.

The Mercury collected nearly 200 more signatures from petitions and coupons, which were also sent to the district council this week.

Mrs Strain said: “If it is refused at cabinet then that is a temporary victory, which is good news, but our feelings don’t change. We still feel that Stamford needs two long stay car parks and we will certainly do what we can when this issue arises again next year because the strength of feeling against this proposal was so great.”

District councillors repre-senting Stamford had called for the plans to be dropped.

A report based on the results of the consultation will be put together by planning officers before a recommendation can be made, ahead of the cabinet meeting on February 7.

If Wharf Road became short stay, it would mean Cattle Market car park would be the only long stay car park and charges at Wharf Road would rise from £3 for an all day ticket to £8 for more than four hours.

Consultation on the proposals started in October and went before a cabinet meeting in December. By then 12 letters of objection had been received but the planning officers had recommended the move be approved. However an error with the public notices informing people of the proposals meant the consultation had to restart.

As well as Cattle Market and Wharf Road, the district council is responsible for short stay car parks in Bath Row, North Street, Scotgate and St Leonard’s Street.