Calls for free parking to bring shoppers to Ottery
- Credit: Archant
Proposals have been put forward to make car parking free in Ottery to attract shoppers in the wake of last month’s major fire.
Businesses have pulled together to come up with ways to boost traders following the blaze in a flat above the Pine Store on September 14 – closing one of the main routes into the town.
A series of meetings were held last week to discuss how to bring shoppers into Ottery including making the Land of Canaan car park free after a certain hour.
Jeff Abbott of Abbotts DIY, said: “If we could persuade EDDC to let the Land of Cannan be free for a month or two, I believe that will make a big difference. It’s all good telling the public the town is open but you have to give them a reason to come in.”
He also asked if the loading bay outside of McColls in Yonder Street could be moved temporarily, to ease the flow of traffic using the diversion in Batts Lane.
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Coles’s David Hemmings, landlord of the building, gave an update about the scaffolding works and said it was progressing well.
Scaffolding was put up the day after the fire due to the instability of the building and resulted in the closure of the road. Work began straight away to clear away rubble before builders could begin to demolish the chimney brick by brick and start building new timbers to reinforce the roof.
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Mr Hemmings said: “All that remained of the roof timbers were chard parts of the truss going into the wall and that was the only thing left giving any rigidity at all. It was a struggle getting a rigid structure in the first place. A lot has been done, far more than you can see from the ground. I think you will see some roof work begin.”
A further initiative by businesses is a golden ticket promotion across four Saturdays giving out free tickets worth between £1 and £50 for customers to spend in participating stores.
Sargon Latchin, from the Recycled Candle Company, said: “We as a collection of Ottery business owners just want to shout about the amazing community of shopkeepers we have in Ottery St Mary and give something back to our customers in the way of this amazing giveaway.”
An EDDC spokesman said: “We have offered to meet the town council to discuss their request.”