'Partner' for Mill Street?
PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 December 2015
Mill Street's 36 town centre parking spaces could be brought back into use for all if district chiefs back proposals for it to be managed on a pay and display basis.
East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet will consider bringing in a commercial partner to run the facility when it meets on Wednesday.
The review comes after more than 50 residents and businesspeople united in support of bringing the spaces, currently for permit holders only, back into wider use. EDDC is considering developing the site for affordable housing.
A report to cabinet says that EDDC could manage a pay and display car park itself, but the process would likely take too long to get it open in time for Christmas. Bringing in an external partner to manage it using number plate recognition technology would save the council £10,000 in legal work, consultation and advertising costs needed to vary its parking regulations. Revenue would be split 50-50 between EDDC and the external contractor – a move intended to avoid ‘incentivising over-zealous enforcement’ that could damage the council’s reputation.
EDDC reviewed the previous system of permits because it found that some spaces were being used by second home owners - while other had changed hands unofficially. The council trebled the annual cost of a permit for Mill Street or Holmdale to £1,800. When it sold only 22 out of a possible 58 permits, it suggested that Mill Street could be developed for affordable housing.
EDDC is still considering developing the site, but says it will continue to offer sufficient reserved car parking spaces at Mill Street and Holmdale to meet the needs of its existing customers.