Town Council response to relocate dental surgery to car park with the loss of six car parking places
Firstly, thank you for the additional time you gave us to respond to the proposal.
This additional time has proved useful in that it has given us the time to publicise to publicise the proposal via our website and Facebook page. This has solicited a large volume of responses, all of which are opposed to the loss of any space in the car park. This mirrors the feedback our District Councillors have received from the public.
Several councillors met with Neil Blaney last September to discuss the future of the dental surgery. It was clear to us then that there was an urgent need for the practice to find new premises due to the inadequacies of their current surgery. We made clear at that time that the Town Council was fully supportive of the practice and, indeed, made several suggestions of potential alternative sites. However, we also made clear that the loss of any car parking facilities was not a price we were prepared to pay. That remains the case.
Yesterday Neil shared some data regarding car park usage. Unfortunately, that really doesn’t help at all in that all that it tells us is the numbers of short-term tickets sold. This inevitably shows that the car park is undersubscribed. However, this does not include the season ticket holders and, more importantly, those that use the car park (for free) between 6pm and 9am. The only way to understand the impact they have is to physically count the number of spaces left at, say, 9pm in the evening. I have to say that our experience is that there are precious few available spaces, particularly on Friday evenings and through the weekend. In many ways this is unsurprising as roadside parking is at a premium in the town. This will be exacerbated by forthcoming housing developments on the fringes of the town. The linden Homes development at Rocklands will bring an additional 230 dwellings and the Taylor Wimpey development at Grovelands will add another 60. We are also awaiting a substantial planning application from Cavanna Homes. As these developments come on line then we have little doubt that the car park will be oversubscribed on many occasions. The current construction of the rain gardens in the car park has also concentrated minds. Whilst we are advised that there will be no loss in spaces there will unquestionably be a loss in manoeuvring space within the top part of the car park. The dental surgery proposal will only exacerbate this.
To conclude, the Town Council cannot agree to any proposal that reduces car parking spaces on a permanent basis. Consequently, we would wish that the proposal to relocate the dental surgery into the car park not be pursued. We think it is also quite clear that there is little or no support amongst the people of Chudleigh for the proposal which would make the pursuit of it extremely unwise.
We remain committed to keeping the dental practice within the town and would be happy to work with yourselves to try to find a sustainable solution to their problems.