Big new town car park opens and shuts again

The new cheaper car park on Clarence Street on the former Travis Perkins site has caused uproar with the residents.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
The new cheaper car park on Clarence Street on the former Travis Perkins site has caused uproar with the residents.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A large car park which opened in Market Harborough last week has shut again - because it does not have the correct planning permission.

The car park on the old Travis Perkins site off Clarence Street in the town was opened by County Car Parks Ltd, on land owned by Hazelton Homes.

Signs went up at the site, which is within walking distance of the railway station, offering all-day parking for £3.

The station charges £10.50 for 24 hours, although this can be reduced if customers pay by the week, month or year.

But after nearby Clarence Street residents complained to Harborough District Council, the car park shut again.

And a district council spokesman said: “Officers have advised Hazelton Homes that the use of the site as a car park should stop immediately.

“Hazelton Homes have now closed the car park and will be submitting a planning application for the car park use.”

Phil Grant, a director of County Car Parks contacted by The Mail, said: “Yes, we’ve closed it whilst a planning application for a temporary change of use is determined.

“We’re hoping the car park will open again in six to eight weeks.

“Our view was that it was a builder’s yard which already had lorry deliveries and a substantial parking area. But after consultation, we’ve closed it until the council can discuss it further.”

Mr Grant said his company had spent £14,000 tidying up and converting the site.

“We want to have a revenue stream, let’s be honest, but we also want to help with local parking issues, and work with the council and also with the residents” Mr Grant added.

Harborough district councillor Phil Knowles commented: “This car park seemed to appear overnight.

“It would have been good neighbourliness to have consulted with local residents first.”

A district council spokesperson said the car park was “unauthorised” and had not got planning permission.

“The application will take its normal course including public consultation,” the spokesman added.