Council considers selling off city centre car parks

City car parks could be sold
City car parks could be sold

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COUNCIL car parks in Portsmouth city centre could be sold off to raise much-needed funds.

Proposals will be put forward in September nominating which of the authority’s assets could be put up for sale.

The suggestion comes after the council drew up a masterplan for the redevelopment of the city centre which lists areas where developers could invest.

But questions have been raised about whether there will be enough parking left in the already-congested city centre and whether the council can get a decent price for its property.

Cabinet member for transport Cllr Jason Fazackarley said the plan to build a park and ride at Tipner means there is no longer a need for so much parking in the city centre.

He said: ‘There has been a review of what assets the council owns and a number of different options are being considered – as you would expect at a time when money is short.

‘But there are some car parks it wouldn’t be practical to sell – it wouldn’t make sense to remove one which is getting massive amounts of use.’

The council’s director of regeneration Kathy Wadsworth said: ‘We are hoping to get money from the department of transport to build the park and ride in Tipner, which should create an additional 600 spaces.

‘Add that to the spaces we hope to create with the Northern Quarter and you have 1,800 more parking spaces for people visiting the city.

‘It will mean they don’t have to park in the city centre and will lead to less congestion.

‘If this approach is successful we can sell off some of our car parks in the city centre.

‘Some of them are not making very much money and some of them would be better developed into housing or office space.

‘But others are making a lot of money so we don’t want to get rid of all of them. We are doing work to see which ones are good value and will make recommendations to the cabinet in September.’

Tory spokesman for traffic and transport Cllr Luke Stubbs said it was an idea he had heard floated many times before.

He said: ‘The crucial question is how much money we are going to get.

‘We do need to keep up parking provision in the city and the council has a history of not getting a fair price for its assets when it sells them.

‘I wouldn’t want to sell anything unless we are getting value for money.’