Berkhamsted could get its own multi-storey car park as part of a plan to free up spaces in the town.
The Lower King’s Road car park next to Waitrose was identified as the best place for the development in a study commissioned by Dacorum Borough Council.
Councillor Ian Reay, who also sits on Berkhamsted Town Council, told the Gazette there would probably be an extra two storeys at the site if plans go ahead.
He said: “The idea is that it should not be higher than Waitrose.”
He expects building work at the site could begin within two years if all goes to plan.
Borough council leader Andrew Williams said: “A multi-storey car park would be of tremendous benefit for shoppers, businesses and commuters, and would relieve parking pressure in residential areas.”
Dr Reay told the Gazette the price of using the multi-storey has not yet been decided – “but it will be cheaper than Berkhamsted Train Station’s car park”.
Many have complained that commuters congest nearby streets, where parking is free and unrestricted, rather than paying up to £758 a year to park there.
The cost of building the multi-storey car park has not yet been decided.
But Dr Reay said it could take 10 to 15 years of collecting money from drivers using the multi-storey before the money is recouped by the council.
Mr Williams said that Berkhamsted is a ‘successful town’, but acknowledged that parking in and around its town centre is ‘becoming a problem’.
A consultation by Berkhamsted Town Council begins next Wednesday on whether residents-only parking zones should be drawn up around the town’s train station and Charles Street.
The borough council has written to those affected to say that the new zones are ‘expected’ to be introduced alongside the multi-storey car park if they go ahead.
Berkhamsted Town Council member Garrick Stevens said: “I suspect this was designed to influence the outcome of this consultation.”
Dr Reay said either plan could go ahead ‘independently of the other’.
But he said: “If residents-only parking zones do go ahead, it would be good for businesses to know they have got an alternative.”
More information on the plans and an idea of how the multi-storey car park could look will be displayed in public exhibitions next month.
They will be at The Court House, Church Lane, Berkhamsted, from 2pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 3, and from 9.30am to 1.30pm on Thursday, October 4, and at Berkhamsted Market on Saturday, October 6.
The plans will also be available to view in Berkhamsted Civic Centre between Monday, October 8, and Friday, October 26. You can see them between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday or from 9am to 4pm on Fridays in that period.