Stoke-on-Trent City Council has submitted plans to build a temporary car park in the city centre – which will benefit shoppers, workers and help to attract more visitors to the area.
The council wants to create the 95 space car park on part of the former East Precinct, which it recently demolished and is currently working up exciting regeneration proposals for the entire 10-acre East-West Precinct site.
The car park would have a lifespan of three years with phases of development anticipated to be delivered on other parts of the site in that period. A decision on the planning application for the car park is expected in April, with construction potentially starting in May. The car park could open to the public in August subject to the planning application being approved, and a smooth construction period. The construction of the car park will be funded through the council’s capital investment programme, which was rubber-stamped last week.
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “The city centre is growing rapidly and will soon welcome the opening of a new four-star Hilton Garden Inn hotel and the 11-storey Clayworks apartment block, two landmark developments which will help to transform the city for generations to come. We know there is a big demand for parking in the city centre, but for me that is a sign of a growing economy and a successful city. It wasn’t that long ago there was criticism because the car parks were only half full.
“It’s always been our intention to create a temporary car park on the East Precinct once everything had been cleared and while we continue to work on our exciting regeneration plans. It makes perfect sense to use the space and this time to provide these extra 95 spaces, which will really help to bring even more people into the city centre and ease some of the pressure on other car parks. I am sure the car park would be welcomed and well-used by the public.”
Alongside the temporary car park, the council is moving ahead with plans to build a 730-space multi-storey car park in the city centre. Funding for the car park, which would be built on the site of the existing Broad Street pay-and-display, was also approved as part of the council’s budget and capital programme. The multi-storey car park could be operational by the end of 2021, subject to planning permission.
Cllr Jellyman added: “We have listened to businesses and looked at parking patterns in the week and at weekends, and we have commissioned the car park on the grounds of a clear demonstrative need. The multi-storey would be a high-quality facility, a level above anything else in our current parking portfolio. It would give visitors a great impression of Stoke-on-Trent and boost all the exciting developments taking place.
"We have to make sure there are enough parking spaces to support the attractions and businesses, and to encourage local people and visitors to come to the area. We want the best for them and this car park would go a long way towards that. The car park will be designed with future technologies in mind, specifically for when there is a mass transition to electric vehicles among consumers. It would have the capability of being able to adapt to whatever the latest technology is at the time.”
Jonathan Bellamy, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent Business Improvement District (BID), said: “The planned multi-storey car park next to Smithfield will be a fabulous new development alongside the launch of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and Clayworks apartments. Together, all three make a great statement for a transforming city centre fast repositioning itself for the future.
"The new multi-storey will particularly provide much needed spaces for Smithfield business workers and visitors. This, alongside the proposed use of some of the former East-West Precinct space to provide 95 new spaces, is vital for shoppers and visitors looking to use the rest of the city centre.”
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