Council bid to takeover Hartlepool marina car park is rejected by Navigation Point owner Mandale Group

A council bid to take over a car park at Hartlepool Marina has been rejected by the owners.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 5:36 pm
Navigation Point at Hartlepool Marina is home to numerous bars and restaurants.

Hartlepool Borough Council made an offer to buy the 340-space Navigation Point car park after the authority was approached by concerned businesses who said the current charges were putting off visitors and harming trade.

Although the pay and display car park was advertised for sale online for £1.2 million, the council has now been told that owners Mandale Group intend to keep it as an asset.

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Councillor Shane Moore, chairman of the Finance and Policy Committee and leader of the council, said: “Our sole motivation in making an offer to purchase the car park was to protect the businesses in this area and the vital jobs that they support.

“We made a good offer for the site and I am disappointed that Mandale Group has now decided not to proceed with the sale.

“However, I acknowledge that as owners of the site they are fully entitled to make this decision.”

But Mandale Group estate’s director Joe Darragh said after an initial enquiry from the council several months ago they heard nothing until Wednesday afternoon when they received an offer for less than half the advertised price he described as ‘insulting’.

Mr Darragh said: “They approached us about four months ago saying they were interested, then never heard anything.

“An agent in Leeds got an offer yesterday afternoon.”

He disputed the businesses’ claims the car parking charges were hurting trade adding: “What we have found is the takings on the car park have steadily increased over the last three or four years.

“We can’t see how it’s affecting any of the people trading there.”

The council says it put forward a proposal to buy and operate the car park which would have paid for itself and seen the introduction of significantly cheaper charges compared to those charged by Mandale.

The council’s charges would also have applied for 10 hours a day compared to all hours currently.