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Builders finally surrender former car park site

PUBLISHED: 15:55 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:39 23 August 2010

DEVELOPERS have agreed to return the site of a former multi-storey car park back to the council, more than three years after demolishing the building. Gravesham Borough Council announced on Monday that Barratt Homes have agreed in principle to hand bac

DEVELOPERS have agreed to return the site of a former multi-storey car park back to the council, more than three years after demolishing the building.

Gravesham Borough Council announced on Monday that Barratt Homes have agreed "in principle" to hand back the site of the Lord Street Car Park, which has been left vacant since its demolition in February 2006.

The housing developer, who paid the council £1.5 million for the site which the council will now keep, has also said they will pay compensation to cover the council's costs, consultancy and legal fees.

A contract between the council and Barratt Homes was signed in March 2003 but legal proceedings were threatened by the council after the developer failed to meet the deadline to build 108 flats on the site by March 2008.

Barratt Homes submitted a new scheme to the council in 2007, which involved fitting a greater number of flats into a smaller building, but that was rejected.

Council leader Mike Snelling said: "We shall look to using the site for an interim use until such time as the proper development of this site can be brought forward, having regard to the state of the development market at present.

"Clearly, in future should the site require an alternative approach, far reaching consultation will take place before any proposal is taken forward."

As part of the recent negotiations, the site will be secured with a new perimeter fence, traffic signs and secure gates.

The site will also be rolled and leveled and the developers will provide warranties for the work already carried out.

They also say they will complete landscaping and finishing work on their other site at the southern end of Parrock Street car park.

Traders and businesses campaigned against the closure of the Lord Street Car Park before its demolition in 2006.

Andrew Marshall, of Lumar Jewels, High Street, Gravesend, collected 13,500 signatures in protest.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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