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Appeal launched to save Norwich car park

PUBLISHED: 15:45 16 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:32 01 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

A council decision to refuse planning permission for a city centre car park is set to be appealed by the applicant's agent, who called the ruling "absolute nonsense".

A council decision to refuse planning permission for a city centre car park is set to be appealed by the applicant's agent, who called the ruling “absolute nonsense”.

Dilip Agarwala, acting on behalf of SGA Parking Ltd, said he was unhappy with Norwich City Council's decision to refuse a retrospective application for a 150 space car park on land on the corner of St Saviour's Lane and Blackfriars Street in Norwich, and will be launching an appeal.

If approved, the application would have seen the car park operate for a temporary period of up to 18 months and the installation of an attendants' cabin, lighting and bins.

The council's planning committee met on Thursday to discuss the application, and although they had not received any letters of objection, they felt that the car park, which has been running for five months, was detrimental to the City Centre Conservation Area, and specifically the Colegate character area.

They also had concerns that it might hinder the future development of the site, which has planning permission for 52 apartments, six town houses, four live/work units and 203 square metres of office space.

But Mr Agarwala said today: “I fail to see how the car park could be detrimental to the area when it is surrounded by buildings with flaking paint, with huge trucks parked on the pavements outside 24/7, public toilets and the backs of buildings and council flats.

“Several floors of the multi-storey in Anglia Square have been closed, the surface car parks have lost a lot of spaces because a road has been put across them, and they are all permanently lost. This car park will not bring the number of parking spaces above the limit for the city.

“They talk about the tariff levels encouraging commuting, but the cost is only 50p a day less than the council car park opposite on Magdalen Street.

“They are concerned about site security, but it is the only attended car park in the city, and although we don't have specifically marked disabled spaces, we are able to keep the ones near the entrance free for disabled people because of the attendants.

“Would they rather it was just an empty space full of weeds and litter? We litter pick every day and our customers are fully in support of the appeal we will be launching.”

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