Resort gets welcome new car park
By Jenni DixonLANDOWNERS have come to the rescue of a traffic-choked seaside town by opening a 100-space car park for visitors.The initiative was launched as new plans for dealing with parking problems in Southwold were unveiled to the public at an exhibition at the town's library.
By Jenni Dixon
LANDOWNERS have come to the rescue of a traffic-choked seaside town by opening a 100-space car park for visitors.
The initiative was launched as new plans for dealing with parking problems in Southwold were unveiled to the public at an exhibition at the town's library.
Easton Bavents landowner. Peter Boggis, has joined forces with some of his neighbours in the hamlet to open a new car park next to the Pier car park for use by visitors to Southwold during peak times.
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Mr Boggis is the man behind the controversial do-it-yourself scheme to reinforce the sea defences at the hamlet north of Southwold.
He said the idea to open the car park was part of a thank you to Southwold residents for allowing him to import and deposit 50,000 tonnes of clay soils to the cliffs near his home over the past two years.
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"It is something Easton Bavents wants to do for the people of Southwold to try to alleviate the present parking problems," added Mr Boggis.
He opened the car park - which charges £3 a day and closes at 7pm - on Friday and said he could run the venture for 28 days without council permission, although he may lodge a planning application after the month is up if the car park proves successful.
Meanwhile, residents were given their first opportunity at Saturday's exhibition to voice their opinions on a proposal by Waveney District and Suffolk County Councils to introduce permit parking in Southwold.
The proposal, which splits the town into two zones, suggests:
n the town centre on-street parking would be short-stay, where no period of waiting should exceed half-an-hour with parking in controlled bays in residential areas
n outside the town centre, on-street and off-street parking would be limited to no less than two hours or unrestricted waiting with permit parking in some residential streets
n visitors to Southwold would be encouraged to use the pier and harbour car parks.
Any residents' parking scheme will be managed by the district council, with charges covering administration and enforcement fees.
One of the zones showed proposed controlled parking bays for residents living inside an inclusive boundary line running from Gun Hill to the water tower, the police station and Pier Avenue along North Parade, which met with mixed reactions from the town's council and business figureheads.
Stephan Cornell, chairman of the area's chamber of trade, said: "We only have problem in this area for eight weeks of the year.
"Southwold in the summer has always been difficult to park in and it's never going to change. I suggest we need something to keep the traffic flowing or only have these regulations from May to September."
Southwold mayor, Geraldine Bryant, said she backed parking permits for Southwold, which is likely to cost residents £15 a year to cover management and administration expenses from the district council.
She also gave her support to the Easton Bavents car park scheme. "I think it's wonderful for the holidaymakers," said Mrs Bryant.