Business owners express ‘disappointment’ over car park proposal

Demonstrators in Steyning protesting about proposed car parking charges. Photo: Frank Bull SUS-161221-115111001
Demonstrators in Steyning protesting about proposed car parking charges. Photo: Frank Bull SUS-161221-115111001

Steyning residents and business owners have spoken of their ‘disappointment’ following Horsham District Council’s decision to move forward with its proposal for car park charges in the town.

The new structures would introduce a rural parking permit scheme for regular users of the car parks at a cost of £12 a year for the first permit and £6 a year for subsequent permits registered at the same address. Regular all day long-term users of Steyning car parks will be able to purchase an annual season ticket at a cost of £130 a year. Additionally, frequent users who do not wish to purchase permits or season tickets can use pay and display machines.

The consultation period for these proposals is open until today. If fully approved, these changed could be implemented in April 2017.

However, Steyning business owners and residents are disappointed the district council refused to discuss Steyning parish council’s offer to keep parking free in the town’s three main car parks at the point of use.

Parish councillor Gill Muncey speaking as a resident said: “Steyning Parish Council offered to give Horsham District Council a payment equal to the net cost of running the three main car parks using the current no-charge disc system in 2017 and 2018. This offer gives the cost-neutral solution that Horsham were seeking and would have been funded by an increase to the Steyning Parish precept.”

Nick Hempleman, owner of The Sussex Produce Company, said: “The local community is up in arms about this proposal – over 1,000 people have filled in forms objecting to it. We need a period of free parking so people can pop into town.

“Steyning business owners have discussed possible legal action against HDC if they move ahead with this proposal.”

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