You may be aware that a number of car parks in the city have closed recently. I have received the following up to date information from the Councillor whose portfolio covers this subject:
“I thought that it might be helpful if I provided you with some more detail about long stay parking provision in the City Centre. I would like to reassure you that the Council recognises the needs of business and people working in the city, including their long term parking requirements, are important. At a time of economic difficulty we also recognise the vital need to support the local economy and businesses within the City Centre.
However, we also need to balance that with the need for proper control of illegal car parking being established in the City Centre.
The recent media coverage relates to the outcome of planning appeals for the operation of 7 unauthorised car parks in Holbeck Urban Village. The car parks have been operating since 2006 as long stay commuter car parking without planning permission, contrary to the Council’s planning and transport policies.
The Council, in seeking to resolve the breach of planning control, served enforcement notices to which there was a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, an independent government body. An independent Planning Inspector considered the appeals and concluded that continuing the use of these long stay car parks would not be acceptable and would be contrary to both local and national planning and transportation policies.
Following this long process of enforcement action, which began several years ago against the operators of several car parks in the city centre, some of the sites may now choose to operate as short stay car parks. Our recent surveys (undertaken last September) indicate that there are now over 2,000 spare long stay car parking spaces within the City Centre.
However, the Council does appreciate the potential impact that this enforcement action might have and we will be conducting an urgent review of long stay car parking capacity to look at what the Council can do to make sure adequate long stay car parking facilities are available with the proper consents in place.”