UPDATED: When Wirral Council introduces car parking charges at Fort Perch Rock, will 3 hours free parking end for a further 423 New Brighton spaces?
UPDATED 29/6/2015: The public notice advertising the changes to introduce charges to the Fort Perch Rock Car Park is included below.
UPDATED 23/12/2014: The Cabinet Member Cllr Stuart Whittingham has decided on a resident’s parking scheme for the roads to the rear of the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.
I’ll start this piece by declaring an interest. My wife is in receipt of a Blue Badge.
The pages below are from the lease between Wirral Borough Council & Neptune Wirral Limited & Neptune Developments Limited & Neptune Projects Limited dated 20th June 2011.
NEW BRIGHTON PHASE II – DRAFT CAR PARKING MANAGEMENT PLAN
CAR PARKING ZONES
Car parking within the New Brighton Phase 2 development will be divided into the following 4 zones.
The Hotel Zone – comprising approximately  spaces.
The Supermarket Controlled Zone – comprising approximately  spaces.
The Health and Fitness Club Controlled Zone – comprising approximately  spaces.
The Uncontrolled Zone – comprising approximately  spaces.
CAR PARKING ZONE DEMISES
The Supermarket Controlled Zone and the Uncontrolled Zone will be demised to the supermarket operator.
The Health and Fitness Controlled Zone will be demised to the Health and Fitness Club Operator.
The Hotel Zone will be demised to the Hotel operator.
CAR PARK OPENING HOURS
The intention is that the car park will be open 24 hours a day. However good estate management practice may mean that it could become necessary to physically close the Supermarket Controlled and Uncontrolled Zones. On Mondays to Saturdays the car park zones may only be closed 15 minutes after the last commercial use within the development closes for business and shall re-open 30 minutes before the Supermarket opens for trade. On Sundays and Bank Holidays the car park shall remain open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. as a minimum.
With regard to the Health and Fitness Controlled Zone, on Mondays to Saturdays the car park may only be closed 15 minutes after the facility closes for business and shall be re-opened 30 minutes before the facility opens for use by members of the public. On Sundays and Bank Holidays, the car park shall remain open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. as a minimum.
Opening hours of the Hotel Zone shall be at the absolute discretion of the Hotel Operator.
In the event of a flood warning the operators of all Zones will be entitled to close the Car Park.
LIMITATION ON FREE PARKING
Within the Supermarket and Health & Fitness Controlled Zones, free parking will be limited to 3 hours between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. It should be noted that disabled parking spaces will not be subject to this limitation.
Users of the Floral Pavilion Conference Facility will not be subject to the time restriction when using the Supermarket Controlled Zone. The mechanism by which such users are
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identified will need to be agreed by the supermarket operator acting reasonably but it likely to involve the issuing of passes for display within the vehicles. The mechanism will be administered by the operator of the Floral Pavilion Conference Facility. It should be noted that the exemption on time limit will not apply to users of the Theatre.
Enforcement of the time limit will be by means of foot patrol or number plate recognition systems. The uses of clamping will not be permissible. Details of the enforcement method to be adopted shall be submitted to the Council for approval such approval not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CAR PARKING STRATEGY
The Supermarket and Health & Fitness Club operators may submit proposals for amending or refining the Car Parking Management Plan from time to time. WBC will give such proposals appropriate consideration and will, at its absolute discretion, determined their acceptability and notify the operator(s) accordingly.
However, if the Council introduced on street car parking charges and/or charges for the Fort Perch Rock car park, then the Supermarket and Health & Fitness Club operators will be permitted to amend the Car Parking Management Plan relating to the introduction of charges and/or revisions to reduction in the 3 hour free parking time provided to introduce similar changes to those introduced by the Council. The proposed revisions shall be submitted to the Council for approval, such approval not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
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So in other words, when Wirral Council start charging for parking in the Fort Perch Rock car park (which has already been agreed), it could mean an end to the 3 hours free car parking in the 423 space Supermarket Controlled Zone Car Park & 100 space Health and Fitness Club Controlled Zone car park. It could also lead to charges for these car parks as high as what Wirral Council is charging for Fort Perch Rock.
Of course when the Future Council Budget consultation was happening earlier this year, I don’t think this was spelt out to the public in the option, but let’s face it would Wirral Council go to the bother of checking what’s in one of its own leases before issuing it as a budget option? After all the budget options were issued in the name of the Chief Executive and it’s not him, but the Assistant Chief Executive that has responsibility for land/leasing matters.
Here’s what the option stated:
Chief Executive’s Budget Proposal
Option: Car Parking – Fort Perch Rock
SUMMARY OF OPTION
This option would introduce pay and display parking charges into the Fort Perch Rock car park at New Brighton, where there are presently no charges. The option will generate income from a well utilised car park and requires some investment in providing cash payment ticket machines. There are currently traffic problems developing around the successful New Brighton redevelopment, which it is thought would be eased through this approach. Prior to implementing this option the Council would work closely with local businesses and traders.
Charging would allow the council to continue to offer public car parks into the future in a fair and sustainable manner, particularly given the financial strains on other areas.
IMPACT ON RESIDENTS
May lead to displaced parking into adjacent areas, and may have an adverse impact on visitor numbers and the local economy.
Disabled badge holders do not need to pay for parking as long as they display a valid disabled badge.
IMPACT ON PARTNERS
Prior to implementing this option the Council would work closely with local businesses and traders. Policy already exists for permits to be provided to traders for their employees, and these remove the inconvenience of using pay and display machines each day, and are provided at a small discount. Lead officers for regeneration programmes can brief business partners to this effect prior to the public consultation on budget options.
IMPACT ON COMMUNITY, VOLUNTARY AND FAITH SECTOR
No direct implications.
Interestingly the proposed changes to charge for the Fort Perch Rock car park were opposed during the consultation at one of the overview and scrutiny committees by one of Labour’s councillors for New Brighton Cllr Rob Gregson.
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