Relief for workers as new car park planned

The Joules Clothing main office at The Point business park off Rockingham Road, Market Harborough.
The Joules Clothing main office at The Point business park off Rockingham Road, Market Harborough.

A business park in Market Harborough which is home to more than 30 organisations and several hundred workers is to get new spaces to relieve pressures on car parking at the important economic hub.

The Point business park, off the A4304 Rockingham Road, was built in 2004 and is home to several prominent companies including Joules Clothing, finance experts Clarkson Wayman Ball and telecommunications firm Welcomm.

But parking at the thriving site has become ever-scarce, leaving some workers to park in a lay-by along Rockingham Road or other unofficial spaces around the park.

Some firms have also leased spaces at Peaker Park further along the road.

However, respite could soon be on the way as a planning application has now been approved to create an additional 85 parking spaces.

Leicestershire County Council first submitted plans last October and they were approved by Harborough District Council planning bosses in January.

The two plots of ‘overgrown land’ comprise a total of 2,793 square metres, which will create 68 spaces, including three disabled bays, for the northern plot, and 17 spaces, including one disabled bay, for the southern section.

Jenny Hill, an associate director from planning experts Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, wrote to the district council to support the county council’s proposal: “The purpose of the car parking is to serve the existing business park and to remove the informal parking that occurs in the access road and lay-by...sometimes up to 30 cars a day.

“Some of the occupiers of businesses within the business park have confirmed to us that there is a need for additional car parking.

“For example, in addition to 57 car parking spaces leased at Peaker Park, Joules Clothing has a requirement for a further 20 car parking spaces in the immediate vicinity.

“Welcomm currently use 24 car parking spaces under licence on Peaker Park,

“Between just two occupiers within the business park, there is an immediate identified need for 44 additional car parking spaces.

“The purpose of the proposed car park, therefore, remains to serve the occupiers of the business park, and not to become a commuter car park.

“We reiterate our view that it is unlikely that commuters using the town’s train station would seek to use the car park as an alternative. The train station is around 1.2km from the proposed entrance to the car park, which is a considerable walk.”

Meanwhile, new double-yellow lines appeared around the park’s entrance in recent weeks to further restrict places for workers to park.

A spokeswoman for the county council told the Mail yesterday (Wednesday): “We identified the two areas of land at the front of The Point as surplus to requirement and obtained outline planning consent for car parking.

“These sites have now been sold subject to contract.”

There is no timescale yet as to when the work might start on the new spaces as legal contracts are still being negotiated, added the council spokeswoman.