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Church car park upgrade to start after long wait

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RENOVATION of the Vale Church car park, including introducing disc parking, will begin later this month.

Permission to carry out work at the Vale Church car park was granted in March last year and will finally get under way later this month. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 26881667)

All vehicles must be cleared from the car park before Friday 24 January.

The work is due to take two to three weeks.

‘We have tried going down all of the different avenues and it has settled on becoming a disc parking zone,’ said Vale Commons Council president Peter Blake.

‘We want to improve the site for all who use it – be it a churchgoer, nearby resident, or commons user.’

Permission was given jointly to the Vale Commons Council and Traffic & Highway Services in March last year to renovate the car park, which has long been in need of attention.

Aside from standard traffic signage, the council is solely responsible for the site.

‘All permissions had gone through early last year, and yet we hung fire to respect those who had made complaints,’ said Mr Blake, ‘this has pushed us back to this year.’

Constraints in budget have also delayed the work, which is estimated to cost at least £70,000.

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‘Funding has been obtained from the council’s pot, through grants, from the golf, plus any other bits and pieces from over the years,’ said Mr Blake.

‘The work should take two to three weeks in all. This may be a temporary inconvenience to the users of the car park but hopefully at the end we will be left with a much cleaner and tidier environment.’

In 2016, the States’ maintenance grant to the VCC was raised from £20,000 to £30,000 when the golf clubs’ leases were reviewed, having been £100 per year for seven decades.

This concluded with a joint £50,000 yearly contribution by the golf clubs to maintain the commons area.

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‘Initially it was planned to carry out the work in two phases due to funding, but since it has taken so long to obtain approval it is possible to do it all in one,’ Mr Blake said.

The works will primarily involve improvement to the surface.

Parking allocation will be reviewed to include long-term 23-hour parking, short term three-hour parking, a disabled parking bay and an area of dedicated parking for nearby residents.

The car park has been subject to long-term misuse, with a history of abandoned cars.

In April 2013, an application to make the site terre a l’amende was rejected for being a ‘step too far’ because the council was not legal owners.

In April 2018, the VCC allied with the police to crack down on abandoned cars left there.

‘The misuse of car parks is an island-wide problem. It’s been an ongoing problem with this car park as long as I can remember,’ said Mr Blake, ‘we have been trying for years to find a solution.’

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