Councillors give go-ahead negotiate deal for Navigation Point car park in Hartlepool
Councillors have given the go-ahead for officers to enter into negotiations to purchase a car park by Hartlepool Marina after pleas for cheaper parking.
Hartlepool Borough Council Finance and Policy Committee met on Tuesday, August 27, to seek approval to give officers permission enter into talks to purchase Navigation Point Car Park.
The 340-space car park is currently owned by the Mandale Group and is advertised online for sale freehold with an asking price of £1.2million.
Council leader Coun Shane Moore said although officers have been given the go-ahead to negotiate over the car park, they will only push ahead if the deal is financially viable.
He said: “We gave the go-ahead for officers to try and negotiate.
“We will only be looking into any deal if the business case stacks up, if it is self funding and doesn’t put any more pressure onto the budget.
“Businesses down there have been calling for help for months and months and egging the council to help in one way or the other, because they are suffering from the increased car parking charges.”
In March, the Mail reported how businesses formed the Hartlepool Marina Business Group to campaign against repeated parking charge hikes they said were driving down visitor numbers.
Coun Moore, the chair of the Finance and Policy Committee, said if the council did complete a deal charges would still be in place, but they would be lower and in line with the rest of council car parks.
He said: “Even if the council do get ownership, it would be a capital project and needs to be self funding.
“We need to charge but it would be in line with the rest of the council car parking.”
At the moment, the first 30 minutes are free at Navigation Point.
After that it rises to £1.50 for up to two hours, £2.50 for two to three hours, £3 for three to four hours, £3.50 for four to five hours and £6 for 24 hours.
If the council is successful, it is proposing to make charges much cheaper and bring them in line with seasonal charges at Seaton Carew.
The council proposes to reduce them to £1 for up to two hours, £1.50 for two to four hours and £2 to park all day.
A council report, which went before the Finance and Policy Committee, added the move would support the ongoing regeneration of the Waterfront, and a successful deal would pay for itself over 25 years.
It said: “This proposal is based on a self-funded business case where income generated from revised car parking charges would repay the borrowing cost of buying the car park over a 25 year period.”
The authority would also look to introduce commuter parking bays on Middleton Road at £225 a year and restricted parking areas to address road safety concerns.