Statement from the Leader of Tandridge District Council, Councillor Martin Fisher - Ellice Road car park redevelopment
At tonight’s Council meeting I announced my intention to propose to next week’s Strategy & Resources Committee that the redevelopment of the Ellice Road car park be postponed to reduce disruption to businesses.
The gasholder development is fantastic news for the regeneration of the town, but of course a project of this complexity, size and scale will inevitably involve some disruption to the town centre. We are now working with St William on the detailed logistics. This was not previously possible because of the delay caused by the unsuccessful legal challenge.
Having reflected and after listening to businesses and residents, I have reached the conclusion that it would be in the best interests of the town to delay the start of the car park by a year, while the gasholder site is redeveloped. We need to ensure the town remains an attractive and accessible place to visit, to support existing businesses and encourage new ones in, which is why we must carefully manage the potential risks that could arise from two large construction projects taking place at once.
However, I am keenly aware parking in the area remains an issue, so I have asked officers to look at alternative ways we can quickly increase parking capacity in the short term to accommodate shoppers, visitors and businesses, before the car park is redeveloped. One of the options could include creating more capacity in the Council Offices car park, possibly by creating an additional level.
Regenerating the town remains a strategic objective for the Council and providing additional parking is just one component of the RegenOxted programme, which also includes the removal of the gasholder, an Urban Redesign project and a hub to encourage the start-up and growth of local businesses.
I truly believe all these projects together will support existing business, attract new ones and ensure the town remains vibrant and economically prosperous. There can be no doubt the removal of the gasholder is a historic moment for the town and something which has been uppermost in residents and business leaders’ minds for many years. This marks the start of a new beginning for the town and I am really pleased the Council has such a key role in this.
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