Agenda item

To hear from the Director of Planning, Economic Development and Property on Piries Place Car Park - potential replacement


The Director of Planning, Economic Development and Property and the Head of Property and Facilities presented the details of the Piries Place Car Park Redevelopment Proposal to the Committee.


As the redevelopment in Piries Place had commenced, there was considered to be a window of opportunity for the Council to demolish Piries Place car park whilst the development of the area was underway.


In the presentation Members noted the timing issues, the demand for parking in Horsham, the sub standard quality of the existing car park in Piries Place and the design options for redevelopment, along with the financial return.


If approved, demolition of the existing car park would commence in February 2018 with an anticipated completion date early in 2019.


Members noted the findings in the draft report by Peter Brett Associates (PBA) on the current parking options in the town, the high occupancy levels and future demand. The quality of the existing car park in Piries Place was considered to be sub-standard and the possible improvement or remodelling options were detailed  along with the option for complete redevelopment. If the project was approved there would be a mitigation strategy in place whilst redevelopment was underway.


Some concerns had been raised at the Cabinet Member advisory group meeting regarding the figures presented in the PBA report, i.e. linked to future capacity figures. The officers would raise these with PBA.


The report would be presented to Cabinet on 21st September 2017.


The Chairman invited the Committee to comment or ask questions.


The Committee agreed that Piries Place car park should be replaced.


Questions included those about the timescales; because the redevelopment of Piries Place had already begun, officers saw this as a good opportunity to carry out the redevelopment work of the car park, in order to ensure that was a positive experience for visitors.


Overall Members supported the proposal and the timescales.


Officers were asked to challenge the expansion figures in the PBA report, to ensure that they were confident that they were correct.


Members noted that the contactor advised that part occupancy would be possible near the completion date.


The Park and Ride facility should be promoted, especially for businesses in the town centre, during the redevelopment period, as part of the mitigation strategy. Parking throughout the District as whole, would be picked up as part of the car parking strategy which was currently underway and would be available later in the year.


Officers were asked to investigate expanding the footprint of the proposed new car park to the south and the east to maximise space. Also give consideration to using the front facing side of the car park for commercial use, however it was advised that this would compromise the number of car park spaces.


Other suggestions included utilising the underground space, but Members noted that this option had been eliminated as a result of the risks factors involved.


Options such as flexible spaces, a green light system and fast charge points would be considered as part of the project.


In conclusion the Committee supported the proposal for the redevelopment of Piries Place Car Park and the timescales. The Committee looked forward to making additional contributions to the options once they become available as the project moves on. The Committee supported the five level option (ground level and four decks) with a design to consider the expansion option in the future.