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Romford Town Centre under threat – car park sales

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Romford Town Centre car park sale

The residents of a town in Essex are concerned that the town centre will be “killed off” if proposals to sell hundreds of parking spaces are implemented. Nearly 750 parking spaces around the town centre of Romford could be sold, as the council faces “one of the most difficult financial challenges” it has faced in “many years.”

As part of Havering Council’s Asset Disposal plans, the Como Street, Angel Way, and Slaney Road car park sites may be traded to council-owned property developer Mercury Land Holdings. There are a total of 748 parking spaces in the three parking lots, including 36 handicapped spaces.

The Como Street parking lot is located near the perimeter road and the entrance to the Romford Street Market and Shopping Mall on St. Edwards Way. The Slaney Road parking lot is four minutes on foot from the Western Road Liberty Shopping Mall and the High Street. The High Street and Romford Market are four minutes’ walk from the Angel Way parking lot.

In a February council cabinet report, Havering Council outlined the Asset Disposal proposal to “deliver capital investment priorities while reducing the need for capital borrowing.” These parking lots could be sold alongside other parking lots in Hornchurch, such as Keswick Avenue Car Park and Dorrington Gardens Car Park.

In addition, the programme proposed the sale of unused land and properties at schools, residential areas, and depot locations. Included are the former Century Youth House in Romford, the former caretaker’s cottages at Newton and Scotts Primary School, and the Heather Avenue Workshop. According to Havering Council, the transfer of the parking lots will be subject to public consultation before any final decisions are made.

David Taylor, a councillor for the town centre of Romford, stated, “At a time when our high street is fighting back, the council will remove over 700 parking spaces from it.” With the loss of nearly 40 disabled parking spaces, Romford will become less attractive and less accessible to consumers. Councils must make difficult decisions in order to balance the budget.

“However, this decision will only exacerbate the situation and destroy our town centre. This will not make anything better. Our council should collaborate with future developers to ensure sufficient public parking is provided.

A spokesperson for Havering Council stated, “We have stated in the past that we will evaluate some of our assets in an effort to manage our finances. We have been candid and forthright about the impact of increased social care costs, rising inflation, and decreased government grants, as well as the fact that we face one of the most difficult challenges we’ve encountered in many years.

“We have not yet made any final decisions, but when we do, residents and businesses will be informed and consulted as part of the planning process.”

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