Saxmundham: Appeal for extra parking in town

DISTRICT chiefs are being called upon to provide more parking in a Suffolk town, following complaints about lack of spaces for residents, visitors and commuters.

Suffolk Coastal said it would look at options for providing more spaces in Saxmundham after hearing the concerns of drivers using the town centre Market Place car park.

Saxmundham’s town clerk said her office had been inundated by complaints from drivers and has asked Suffolk Coastal to address the “dire shortage” of parking provision.

The town’s main Market Place car park currently provides 84 parking spaces, including free parking for 30 minutes in designated spaces.

A further 18 spaces are available at the railway station, while two supermarket car parks in Church Street operate a two-hour restriction.

The Market Place is used mainly by shoppers and visitors, as well as commuters who choose to leave their cars while travelling from the town by train.

Traders and stallholders also use the car park once a week for market day.

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Suffolk Coastal said that, thanks partly to its planning decisions, Saxmundham now has more parking than ever.

But the town clerk, Maddie Gallop, argued that the provision of parking is not sufficiently in line with district-approved development.

She said: “We have another housing development being built near Rendham Road and our facilities, or rather lack of them, is causing serious concerns.

“We would appreciate some land being made available to enable visitors, workers and residents to be able to use our town and park their cars.”

Andrew Nunn, who is Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for Green Environment and is responsible for the district’s car parks, said development in the Saxmundham had increased parking provision and that the perceived lack of space in the town was more likely due to restricted admission in Church Street.

Mr Nunn added: “While there are actually now more car parking spaces than ever in Saxmundham, partly thanks to Suffolk Coastal’s planning decisions, the fact that its two supermarket car parks are operating a two-hour limit is putting pressure on the Market Place facility operated by Suffolk Coastal.

“In the light of these changed circumstances, the council is now looking at possible options to see if there are ways to make more spaces available to shoppers and visitors during the day, while still meeting the long-stay demands of commuters.”