Former popular car park set to be resurrected?
PUBLISHED: 17:08 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:12 23 August 2010
ITS closure caused uproar and angry protests from traders and residents across the borough. But now, almost three years after it was demolished, a car park could be rebuilt on the site of the former Lord Street car park, in Gravesend. Furious business
ITS closure caused uproar and angry protests from traders and residents across the borough.
But now, almost three years after it was demolished, a car park could be rebuilt on the site of the former Lord Street car park, in Gravesend.
Furious business owners claimed shoppers would be put off from coming into the town centre when the site was closed in October 2005.
Developer Barratt Homes bought the land and signed an agreement with Gravesham Borough Council to build a block of flats on the site.
However, since it was crushed in early 2006, no work has been carried out on the site despite a timetable for completion being set for March this year.
Gravesham Borough Council leader Mike Snelling said legal negotiations are ongoing and hinted that a car park would be most suitable for the site.
He said: "Either they (Barratt Homes) build what they are supposed to build, or we do everything we can to get the land back. I am happy to say that if we do get the land back the last thing we would want to build on the site is lots of pokey little flats that people aren't going to be able to get a mortgage for anyway."
He added: "Due to commercial sensitivity, I can't give too many details, but we would look at a number of options for the site.
"One thing we have to take into consideration is the fact that we have the high speed rail link coming to Gravesend in December next year, and we will have to provide more parking spaces for the increasing numbers of commuters.
"You have to look at the previous administration, and think that knocking down a multi-storey car park when we are going to be faced with a high demand for parking spaces may not have been the most sensible decision."
Barratt Homes have asked the council to consider a smaller scheme, with a greater number of flats.
This was rejected by the council at the beginning of this year. Keith Parrett, Managing Director of Barratt Eastern Counties, said: "Despite the current difficulties in the property market, Barratt remains committed to this development.
"We are currently in discussion with Gravesham Borough Council and its representatives to agree a way forward.
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