For many years Clare residents and businesses have wanted some additional car parking capacity in Clare. Where this capacity will come from has always been the main challenge. How to fund it is also an issue.
Clare Town Council recently produced a survey to see if residents would support a significant development on the Backfield to include a carpark.
Suffice to say many residents have expressed strong opinions on the matter……… except the survey result was inconclusive either way.
Clare Town Council must be congratulated in trying to resolve this difficult issue. Last night, at a packed meeting, the public had its say. Representatives from different organisations were there as well as the general public. The debate was lively to say the least.
I spoke towards the end of the debate and attempted to provide clarity of the planning process. I was also able to make the following points:
1. Clare is currently at 150% of its housing quota without any development on Backfield. Can the town cope with significant additional development above what is already planned?
2. I challenged the assumption that development is the only way to fund a carpark.
3. I challenged the statement that West Suffolk Council would not fund a carpark. My recent discussions with senior officers were not that stark.
3. I have meetings planned with senior officers within West Suffolk Council with the aim to move this issue forward. Clare Town Council voting in favour of the Backfield solution may tie the hands of this work.
A proposal was put to CTC that Backfield be rejected as a site for a carpark or development. This was passed by a 4-1majority. It was said, by a Town Councillor, that my intervention was powerful and had helped him reject Backfield.
Now to turn my attention to improving car parking capacity for residents and visitors!!!!!