Posted: 30.07.20 at 18:59 by Tom Avery
Congleton Town Council is gearing up to challenge Cheshire East Council (CEC) about the potential loss of a 26-space free car park in the town.
The council says it was not consulted about CEC's intention to close the Rope Walk car park.
And it only found out when a resident emailed town councillors to say a public notice had been fastened to a lamp post.
In a report being considered by tonight's (Thursday) community and environment committee, Cllr Amanda Martin says: "On 4 July Congleton town councillors were informed by a resident of Providence Mill that a notice had been put up on a lamp post saying that the public car park opposite their flats was to be closed.
"The reason given was that the car park only had 26 places, was lightly used and 'would not represent a significant loss to the total capacity across Congleton'.
"The closing date for objections was 3 July.
"The town council was not consulted about this."
A public notice was published on 11 June proposing 'to remove the land known as Rope Walk Car Park from the list of parking places within Congleton'.
"Those of us who saw this notice thought that it meant that the car park would no longer be advertised on the CEC website, not that it was to be closed.
"When we received the email from the resident, CEC Councillor Sally Holland made enquiries and was told that the real reason that the car park had to close was that the new owner of the Lord Mountbatten pub had realised that half the car park was on his property and had asked Cheshire East Council to pay him rent," explains Cllr Martin.
Only the section of car park behind 64 and 66 Mill Street belongs to CEC.
Cllr Martin said the pub owner confirmed that while Congleton Borough Council had paid rent when it operated the car park, no rent had been forthcoming since CEC took over.
"The loss of this car park might not be significant to Congleton as a whole, but it would a very significant loss to the residents of Providence Mill, who have nowhere else to park.
"The car park is also used by local businesses," she adds.