In becoming portfolio holder for transport in May 2016 Cllr Andrew Davis asked for a current valuation and maintenance programme for all the car parks. Unfortunately, apart from Drewitt’s Court this had not been undertaken for many years. Perhaps the previous Conservative administration thought the car parks could mend themselves.
A condition survey was undertaken in 2016 to identify the state of the borough’s car parks and the financial commitments for repairs over the next five years. The full cost to bring the car park up to standard is £13m.
The borough’s obligations relating to Drewitts Court in order to comply with the terms of the existing leases, require that a structural evaluation of the ramp be undertaken immediately and that the repairs be carried out as quickly as possible. It is likely that the full cost will be £1,500,000.
To catch up with the amount of maintenance required for the other car parks the borough plans to spend up to £6m over the next three years.
However, with the high need for social housing, the pressure to build over car parks is high. Not all car parks are suitable but those that are should not given comprehensive repairs until their housing status is known.
Naturally, the order of work and indeed what work will be done will be undertaken with full consultation with local councillors. A full management programme will be produced for each car park for while they are being reconstructed. Dewetts Court will take much longer so will have a special plan. It is likely to begin in January so us not to clash with the Christmas season.