Vale Church car park work starts as last few vehicles are cleared away
VALE CHURCH car park is finally being transformed, after years of delay.
Work began on Monday. The changes will see part of the car park extended using Gridforce and gravel. The area will also be divided into disc parking and residents parking.
Vale Commons Council president Peter Blake said the council had been working to improve the car park for five years.
But it has taken time for issues over ownership to be clarified.
‘The work is coming along nicely, despite the weather,’ Mr Blake said.
‘They have started the ground work.’
There has been a long-standing problem with old vehicles being abandoned at the car park, which is part of the reason the changes are taking place.
Ten vehicles were in the car park the day before the deadline for clearing it and Mr Blake said that, even on Sunday evening, there were three vans.
‘But by Monday at 9.15am it was clear,’ he said. ‘I could not believe my eyes. It saved us a fortune as they didn’t have to be towed away.’
When it is completed part of the car park will be made 23-hour disc spaces and part of it three-hour.
The rest of the spaces will be rented as residents’ parking.
Mr Blake said he had already had interest from six or seven people in renting. The money raised will be used to cover the cost of maintaining the car park.
Mr Blake said the car park work, which is costing about £70,000, should take between two and three weeks to complete.
‘It will be a great relief to me when it’s all done,’ he said.
It has been a long road for the council. In 2013, it failed to make the land terre a l’amende because the court ruled that the council was a custodian of the land rather than the legal owner.
When it applied for this work in 2018, the planners noted that the council had made all reasonable efforts to try and identify the owner and gain consent for the application.
The common covers 740 vergees, but its ownership is complex.
In the 1800s, all of the common was in private ownership. Some of that remains been passed to the heirs of former owners. However, those heirs are not always easy to track down.
Some areas are owned by the council, purchased on behalf of the habitants, while some small areas are owned by the States.