Friday, 12 August 2022

Car park deck idea raised once more

MORE parking spaces could be created in Henley by adding a deck to the Greys Road car park.

South Oxfordshire District Council is said to favour this idea rather than making the King’s Road car park multi-storey, as has been suggested previously.

Some town councillors believe there aren’t enough spaces in the two car parks, which puts off residents and visitors.

The district council is responsible for both car parks and its leader Jane Murphy and chief executive Mark Stone attended a meeting last week where the issue of decking one or the other was discussed.

Councillor Julian Brookes said the district council favoured decking Greys Road car park because there were fewer residents’ homes overlooking it.

This would provide an opportunity to reconfigure the spaces.

He also said more use should be made of the Henley Rugby Club car park, off Marlow Road, and the station car park with the use of better signage.

Town, district and county councillor Stefan Gawrysiak has said he would ask for a feasibility study to be carried out but he felt that it would better to turn the Greys Road car park into a multi-storey.

“The reason is that it is surrounded by businesses,” he said. “King’s Road has a residential element and you don’t want people looking into other people’s gardens.”

In 1994 the district council drew up plans for a deck at the King’s Road car park that would provide about 100 more spaces but these didn’t go ahead.

Two years ago, it set aside £770,000 in its capital growth budget for a single layer of decking at the King’s Road car park.

The scheme, which would have added about 90 pay-and-display spaces to the 340 existing ones, was also suggested as a possible way to create extra capacity in the draft of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan.

At the time, town councillors expressed concern that it would simply attract more traffic and that a decision on whether to proceed should be a joint one and not imposed by the district.

The idea was raised again at this week’s meeting of the neighbourhood plan committee, which is considering infrastructure improvements needed with hundreds of new homes being built.

Deputy Mayor Ken Arlett, who chairs the committee, called for the King’s Road plan to be revived.

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