Sunday, 29 November 2020

Theatre refused parking spaces

THE Kenton Theatre will not be allowed its own parking spaces.

THE Kenton Theatre will not be allowed its own parking spaces.

Ed Simons, chairman of the theatre’s trustees, had appealed to Henley Town Council for two designated spaces outside the venue in New Street.

He said they would be used for loading and unloading and for the arrival of special guests.

But the council says the road is public highway and parking spaces shouldn’t be used for commercial  purposes.

Instead, it suggested using cones for loading and unloading vehicles when required and informing the town council, so that the parking wardens could be told.

Speaking at a town and community committee meeting, town clerk Mike Kennedy said: “The Kenton Theatre has two traffic cones they can put outside the theatre as they require for getting in and out.

“They need to keep the town hall informed so the wardens do not remove them. In a nutshell, that’s all they need to do.”

Councillor Will Hamilton said the council should be doing as much as it could to help the theatre, including giving it two dedicated spaces.

But Mr Kennedy replied: “One can’t designate a space on the highway for commercial use. We had a very similar situation in Bell Street which was subject to a legal challenge and the council county can’t allow public highway to be used this way.”

Deputy Mayor Julian Brookes, who was chairing the meeting, said: “The theatre is a very important part of Henley, our brand and our economy. It is bringing a lot of people into town and it is particularly important we find a good solution to this.

“They might like two extra spaces but this is not going to happen. They can put cones out and work with the parking office and town clerk as necessary.”

Councillor Ian Reissmann said this was a “sensible” proposal in the interests of the theatre and residents, adding: “It sorts everything out quite sensibly.”

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