Bid to re-open cattle market car park fails - The Rugby Observer

Bid to re-open cattle market car park fails

Andy Morris 5th Oct, 2017 Updated: 5th Oct, 2017   0

AN ACCUSATION of ‘complacency’ has been rejected by Rugby Borough Council’s ruling Conservative group after they voted against a Liberal Democrat motion to re-open a car park at the former cattle market site.

The LibDems asked the council to seek temporary planning permission for the former Stone Yard car park to generate ‘much-needed income’.

But the Tories called the idea a ‘half-baked’ attempt to score political points.

The motion, proposed by LibDem Coun Neil Sandison and seconded by colleague Coun Tim Douglas, stated the move would alleviate on-street congestion for residents, provide relief from all-day parking from rail users, and provide additional parking for the two doctors’ surgeries and pharmacy at the Rugby Medical Centre.

The motion added: “This will provide an additional revenue stream and help offset budget constraints because of the reduction in income from the new homes bonus.”

Coun Sandison said: “I can’t believe the complacency of the Tory group. We can’t afford to ignore this long-standing wasteland and must use it to ease congestion around the railway station and generate much needed income to support services.”

Coun Douglas added: “This Tory-led council is taking too long to make decisions and should be sweating the assets that we own to earn an income for hard-pressed tax payers in Rugby.”

They claimed the land, which has been derelict for over 10 years, previously generated £250,000 a year as a car park.

But a council spokesman said that figure was the amount raised in 2006 when the site was bigger, and before nearby car parks in Mill Road and Railway Terrace had opened.

He added: “We have not done any sensitivity testing yet to consider the amount that could be generated on the current, smaller site in the more competitive market conditions. Nor has any survey work been done to see how much it might cost to bring the site back into use.”

And council leader Coun Michael Stokes added the motion would have forced the council to go ahead with a project without knowing how much it would cost or generate, while ignoring potentially better alternatives.

He said: “The Liberal Democrat group clearly aren’t aware this land is already being looked at with the local ward councillors so we can identify and put forward a fully appraised solution, rather than trying to score political points by presenting half-baked schemes in the council chamber.

“The borough council owns a small piece of land that used to be part of the old cattle market car park, the rest of which has been redeveloped for housing and a medical centre.

“The last remaining plot could be put to a number of uses that would benefit the community of Benn ward, and it is right that we consider these alternatives before making a final decision.”


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