Canterbury City Council to sell Rosemary Lane car park this year
A long-standing decision to sell a large car park in Canterbury city center is expected to finally move forward this year, as the council prepares to bring the site to market.
The future of Rosemary Lane parking lot has been discussed for the best part of 10 years, but now looks set to be turned over to real estate developers.
This will mean the loss of 96 places, which authorities say can be covered by spare capacity in the multi-story building near Castle Street.
Council spokesperson Rob Davies said: “The Rosemary Lane car park is surplus to needs and councilors have agreed to sell it.
“There is a large underutilized car park just around the corner in the form of several floors of Castle Street, which can accommodate people who wish to park in this area.
“The site is assigned to housing in the current local plan and we will start marketing it for sale later this year.”
He said the parking lot is currently being used as a storage yard by the contractor working on the St Margaret’s Street repaving project, which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
As the Tory-led council seeks to sell the site, newly elected Labor city councilor Pip Hazelton believes it should be turned into social housing.
“I have nothing against closing the parking lot, and the residents I spoke to all share that point of view,” she said.
“But the board shouldn’t be selling the crown jewels to developers who just want to make a profit. We should not lose any assets.
“It must be preserved and transformed into social housing. There are over 2,000 people on the housing list, and that might help. “
An initial plan to sell the site was agreed in principle in March 2012 and a preferred developer was found after a tender, but flood risk issues led to the sale’s failure and the abandonment of the sale at the end of 2014.
“ It should be kept and transformed into social housing … ”
Since then, the car park has remained in its normal state – until last year when it was closed permanently.
It is not yet known how many houses the site can accommodate.
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