An air of optimism filled the room at Biggleswade Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday (August 13) – as councillors approved plans to buy the Rose Lane car park.
Parking – or a lack of it – has long been an issue in the town and the council has ambitious plans for Biggleswade’s largest car park should the purchase go ahead.
In a statement to the Chronicle Councillor Madeline Russell said: “When we own Rose Lane, rather than having a series of short term leases, we will be able to invest in improvements.
“We will look at drainage, surfacing and marking out the car park.
“Longer term, we want to explore the possibility of decking – putting another floor in at street level –which would nearly double the capacity.”
If the renovations were to go ahead the council would need to consider charging for parking, Mrs Russell added.
Funds from car park charges would most likely be needed to cover the council’s possible outlay on the development of the facility. These would be kept moderate though, she said.
A statement released to the Chronicle by the council also said: “At a recent meeting, the town council expressed interest in leasing the car park in the new Bonds Lane development if it goes ahead.
“With Rose Lane and its existing car parks in St Andrew’s Street and Chestnut Avenue, the council will be able to put a sensible parking policy in place to ensure that the needs of shoppers, workers and commuters will be met.
“It has taken a long time and there are still some hurdles to cross but the medium term future for Biggleswade town centre looks a lot brighter.”
At the meeting councillors spoke of their delight at the project becoming a reality.
Councillor Tim Woodward, the former mayor of Biggleswade said: “This has been going on for a very long time and I am so pleased that it is now going ahead.
“It started under my watch and negotiations have continued since, and it is a real step forward for the town.”
The successful bid follows a number of meetings involving the town council, its town centre management committee and the joint committee with Central Beds Council over the last two years.