Car park redevelopment moves a step closer
Release date: 18 April 2016
Later this week Members of Cotswold District Council’s Cabinet will consider the marketing of three Cirencester car parks for redevelopment with a view to providing additional car parking spaces and mixed use residential and commercial development, following on from the Council meeting on 23 February when CDC Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe first announced this intention.
When they meet on Thursday 21 April, the Cabinet Members will review a recommendation to go ahead with redeveloping the car parking sites at the Old Memorial Hospital, the Old Station and the Waterloo. Should they agree to this course of action, this will pave the way for CDC officers to agree the marketing brief, evaluation criteria, and the appointment of consultants. Phase One of the project could see the demolition of the Old Memorial Hospital, which is currently vacant, and the creation of more parking spaces at that site, should approval be given following submission of the necessary planning and schedule monument applications.
Should the proposals go ahead, progress will be overseen by a Car Park Demand Project Board - comprising CDC Members, including Cirencester Mayor Cllr Mark Harris, and senior officers – which has already been reviewing sites and carrying out several feasibility studies, including trends in parking demand. Bids to market the sites will be reported back to the Cabinet and the Council as necessary for formal decisions to be taken. It is proposed that £75,000 worth of funding previously approved for the Car Parking Demand project should be combined with a further £75,000 recently set aside for redevelopment and marketing of sites to create a single fund of £150,000 to progress both elements of work.
Commenting on the recommendation to proceed with this scheme, CDC Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Partnerships, Cllr Chris Hancock, said:
“We are making good progress on this crucial issue, and I very much hope that the Cabinet will give the green light to this scheme when we meet later this week. The Council previously consulted English Heritage on the proposed demolition of the Old Memorial Hospital in 2002 to create space for extra parking, but they expressed concerns that there were no proposals to redevelop the site. This time around, we believe we can now demonstrate that redevelopment is being progressed. Furthermore, as part of the Car Parking Demand project, a number of stakeholder consultations were carried out with organisations including the Chamber of Commerce, Cirencester Town Council, and the Civic Society, as well as Cirencester Ward Members, and various local community and residents groups such as Cirencester Against Bus Cuts, and the general view was that the building could be removed. Should this go ahead, we would save taxpayers a considerable amount in building maintenance costs while creating 19 additional car parking spaces in quick time. The Council would seek to remove and retain the memorial plaque on the front of the main building, in consultation with Lord Bathurst, and seek appropriate removal or retention of the existing oak staircase provided from donations made by the family of E.J. Bannantyne, a Rendcomb-based Royal Flying Corps pilot who served during World War One.”