Go ahead given for Sidmouth pay-and-display car park at theatre

The Manor Pavilion Car Park

The Manor Pavilion Car Park - Credit: Archant

Plans for a pay-and-display car park at Sidmouth’s Manor Pavilion Theatre have been backed by council chiefs.

Results from a consultation, held in July, which looked into whether the car park should be subject to charges were reviewed by East Devon District Council’s cabinet committee last week.

According to the council, up until now, residents and shoppers have been using the private site as a free car park, where there are no restrictions or enforcements in place.

Council bosses originally considered introducing a pay-and-display system in April and reconfirmed their decision at its latest cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Restrictions, which will be managed by the authority, will be in place between 8am and 8pm and there will be a maximum stay of four hours. It is hoped the new system will be put in place in the autumn.

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At the cabinet’s latest meeting, councillors evaluated and addressed old and new arguments raised in the consultation but the findings and recommendations of its report remained unchanged.

Cllr Tom Wright, who is responsible for the environment, said the move to introduce the pay-and-display system had been a long process, beginning in October 2012.

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He added: “We expect the car park to become popular with local residents and their visitors during its free overnight period and we feel that it would be a mistake to offer them that facility prior to the start time of the theatre’s evening productions.

“We have consistently reassured users of the arts centre that they will be able to pull in to load and unload easels and other heavy items.

“Long stay parking is available just five minutes away in our Manor Road car park and regular users can buy an annual permit that will allow them to park there without time constraints for the equivalent of just £2.58 per week.

“It is normal to pay to park in theatre car parks across the country – these fees contribute vital funds towards the running costs of the theatres and help ensure their continued existence.

“The revenue it will generate will, in turn, help to secure the future of the theatre and arts centre.”

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