Free car park wins stay of execution

PUBLISHED: 09:35 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 09:35 17 November 2014

Archant

Budleigh motorists and traders have been handed a reprieve, after controversial plans to install pay and display machines at the town’s free car park were delayed by district bosses.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet decided to begin charging for the Upper Station Road car park in July, to the outrage of businesses, who said it would deter visitors.

However, there has been no news on the scheme since then, and now EDDC, after discussions with original landowner Clinton Devon Estates (CDE), which is party to covenants on the site, has announced that more survey work will be carried out.

In a joint statement, EDDC and CDE said: “The council and Clinton Devon Estates have met to discuss the issue of the free car park at Upper Station Road.

“Both parties understand the importance of the car park to the town and want to ensure that the facility serves the town for many years to come. Consequently, the first requirement is to ensure that we fully understand the patterns of usage of the car park.

“Therefore, the council will monitor this over the next few months.

“A further meeting will be held in due course but in the meantime the car park will remain as a free car park.”

Following the announcement, Budleigh Salterton Town Council, also party to the covenants, issued a statement saying: “Throughout the correspondence and discussions about the Upper Station Road car park that have taken place between the town council, CDE and EDDC, the town council has repeatedly drawn the existence of certain restrictive covenants to the attention of EDDC.

“The town council welcomes [the EDDC statement], and, when the monitoring has been completed, will work with EDDC to ensure the best outcome for the town, its people and its traders.”

Angela Yarwood and Mike Clarke, who previously organised a traders’ letter to Lord Clinton regarding the car park, said: “We feel that this is a very positive outcome and will hope to be closely and openly involved in the monitoring process as a consultee with the ultimate aim of permanently retaining the free status of this valuable facility.

“We are extremely grateful to Lord Clinton and CDE, for their intervention and support.”

Budleigh Salterton Chamber of Commerce chairman Christine Bentley said: “Obviously it’s good news they are looking into it in more depth.

“Our thanks go to Lord Clinton and CDE for their input into this.”

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