Mill Street cash to boost Rotary Club of Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 11:33 04 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:14 04 December 2015

Mill street carpark. Ref shs 6858-21-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Mill street carpark. Ref shs 6858-21-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Permits, for a minimum suggested donation of £5-a-day, made available from December 7 - 27

The Rotary Club of Sidmouth will get the proceeds from Mill Street car park over Christmas as district chiefs work towards a long-term solution – but it could still be developed within three years.

Temporary permits for the 36 spaces there and at Holmdale will be offered for a suggested minimum donation of £5 per day from Monday (December 7) until December 27.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) says the move will allow it to test demand for a pay and display system set to be brought in next year.

Speaking at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, shop owner Richard Eley said: “It’s too late to change anything before Christmas and there’s no need to change anything before Easter.

“We have time to consult and consider other options – why not call a consultation until mid-January to try and develop the best solution for the town?”

The cabinet voted to proceed without consultation, but it may be included in the town council’s consultation on Port Royal.

Goviers of Sidmouth proprietor Alan Morgenroth told the meeting his store had been trading since 1904 but its continued presence is under review – and parking will play a ‘significant part’ in his considerations.

He said plans to convert Mill Street car park for affordable housing were a ‘complete nonsense’ as it would increase demand for spaces, and appealed for reassurance that it would be retained as a car park.

EDDC chief executive Mark Williams replied that Mill Street car park would not be developed ‘for the foreseeable future’ – before clarifying that he meant ‘the next two or three years’.

Opening Mill Street for a local cause was the brainchild of Sidmouth councillors Cathy Gardner, John Dyson and Matt Booth.

Councillor Iain Chubb, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “Having a car park with unoccupied spaces is of benefit to no-one, so it makes sense to take the opportunity to test public demand for reserved off-street car parking and at the same time use this exercise to help a terrific cause.”

He said the move will ensure the spaces are not wasted while EDDC prepares to implement a pay and display system next year.

Rotary club treasurer Bill Titley welcomed the donations.

He said it will be spent on the volunteers’ various projects supporting elderly and youth groups locally.

The council’s business support team will collect donations and issue permits lasting one, two or three weeks.

Anyone interested in applying for one should call 01395 571780 or email carparks@eastdevon.gov.uk

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