Council bosses hope that expanding a popular Hartlepool seafront car park will provide a long-term boost to revenue after plans were given the green light.
Hartlepool full council gave the final go-ahead for £550,000 plans to expand the Sea View Car park at Seaton Carew by 350 spaces, taking the total capacity to around 680 vehicles.
It comes after council bosses said in May they would consider extending the car park on to the nearby former fairground site after parking ‘chaos’ during the bank holiday weekend.
The plan, which was approved by the finance and policy committee earlier this month, was given the green light by full council and received cross-party support.
Construction work has been estimated at £390,000, with further costs for CCTV, landscaping, border fencing and street lighting, potentially adding £150,000 to the cost.
It will be funded by prudential borrowing, and the area would be committed to a £37,000 annual repayment over a 25-year period, funded by seasonal parking charges.
Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said he hopes the project will have long-term benefits.
“When people look back earlier this year to problems we had in Seaton with car parking, I requested the move to do something about it come forward earlier to council.
“The council recognises it will be a self-funded scheme.
“It was great to see the business community coming out and saying it was the right thing to do.
“Seaton is a town-wide facility and hopefully it will reap rewards for the whole of the town.
“Long term, if it’s more than successful it may help with revenue pressures.”
Labour’s Coun Kevin Cranney said: “I’m really pleased. Given the regeneration taking place in Seaton this will alleviate pressures we faced this year and help expand opportunities.”
Coun Shane Moore, from the Independent party, also said he was fully supportive of the scheme and urged the council to go ‘above and beyond’ in terms of the number of disabled spaces included.
Putting Hartlepool First’s Coun James Black added: “It’s something we’ve needed and talked about for a considerable time.”
Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service