How will multi-storey car park be paid for?

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A report due out in mid-August will disclose whether a plan to build a multi-storey car park is financially viable.

The idea was mooted as a potential solution to the lack of parking spaces in Berkhamsted when proposals for residents-only permits fell apart after a public backlash.

Tory-led Berkhamsted Town Council spent £9,000 and four years drawing up the permits plan, which was scrapped in November 2012.

At the same time, Tory-dominated Dacorum Borough Council publicly revealed that a three-storey car park could be built in Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted, to tackle the town’s spaces shortage.

Portfolio holder for finance and resources Nick Tiley now says: “With the benefit of hindsight, it was not the best time to do it.

“It would have been better to let the permits stand and fall on their merits and then develop our ideas about a multi-storey car park.”

The cost of the car park, which would have 200 spaces, is estimated at £4m – up £1m on the November estimate.

The council would want parking fees to deliver a return on its investment within 15 years. Mr Tiley said: “It is going to have to pay for itself.

“I do not want the people to think that the council can afford to subsidise this. It is not a social priority for Dacorum to build a multi-storey car park in Berkhamsted.”

He has commissioned a report into whether the car park is financially viable – due to be presented to the council’s cabinet in September or October. There will then be a public consultation.

Mr Tiley told a recent meeting of the Berkhamsted Parking Provision and Management Forum that he does not want to ‘fuel local expectations’ of a multi-storey car park until he knows whether it is affordable.