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Norwich city centre car park may be ordered to close

PUBLISHED: 09:28 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:24 01 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

The owners of an illegal car park in the city centre which has been open for five months could be forced to shut it down after a council meeting this week.

The owners of an illegal car park in the city centre which has been open for five months could be forced to shut it down after a council meeting this week.

A retrospective planning application has been received by Norwich City Council for a 150 space car park on land at the corner of St Saviour's Lane and Blackfriars Street in Norwich, but it looks set to be refused by the planning committee.

Permission for 52 apartments, six town houses, four live/work units and 203 square metres of office space was granted in October 2009, but although buildings have been demolished on the site, nothing has been built and the permission will expire in October 2011.

The application from SGA Parking Ltd is for the use of vacant land for public car park for up to 18 months, installation of an attendant's cabin, installation of lighting and provision of bins for waste collection. It would be open from 7am to 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 5pm on Sundays.

Although no letters of objection have been received by the council, officers have recommended the application is refused because they feel the tariff levels might encourage commuting and undermine the overall transport strategy and the site does not have marked or defined disabled spaces.

There are also concerns about site security, the fact there is a poor parking surface and the fact permission may prejudice the future redevelopment of the site.

The Norwich City Council officer's report said: “The site is located within the Colegate character area of the City Centre Conservation Area. The adjacent car parks are already identified as negative features within the conservation area and the use of the vacant site for car parking would further impact on the character of the conservation area extending the negative feature.”

The report also recommends the council to: “Authorise enforcement action to secure the cessation of the unauthorised use and the taking of legal proceedings, including prosecution if necessary.”

Dilip Agarwala, the agent for the applicant, was unavailable for comment.

The application will be discussed by the planning committee on Thursday, May 13.

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