Car Park Survey

Written 01/12/15


Report from the Clerk to Lydiard Millicent Parish Council Thursday 3rd December 2015
Purpose of the Report
To set out findings from a recent consultation with residents of the Parish, this report will act as a discussion focus for members of the Council. 
Two years ago the field next to Lydiard Millicent Parish Hall came up for sale. This key site was purchased by the Parish Council at a cost of £30,000, with a further £7,000 being spent on consultancy fees and planning permissions with the aim of creating a car park. It is understood that initial estimates for the project were under stated, and if the project was to continue there would be a heavier burden placed on the residents than originally intended.
In August a decision was taken to consult with residents to gauge their feelings. A letter was subsequently sent out at the beginning of November, asking for a response by 28th November 2015.
The Consultation
Each household received a letter briefly explaining the project and giving three options from which to choose. They were also asked to suggest alternative uses for the field if they did not wish to proceed with the car park proposal. Responses could either be sent by post to the Clerk or given via a dedicated e-mail address ( ).
a.       Agree to the car park and it being paid by a precept of £4,800 each year over 10 years, which equates to an extra £4.20 for a band A house, up to an extra £12.60 for a band H house annually.
b.      Agree to the car park and it being paid by a one off payment next year of £42,000, which equates to an extra £37.00 on a band A house, up to an extra £111.00 on a band H house.
c.       Cancel the car park project and find an alternative use for the land. In this case, do you have any suggestions of how you would like to see this key site utilised.
600 letters were delivered by hand to households within the Parish. There were 2 responses by phone, 21 responses by post and 124 responses by e-mail totalling 147 replies making a response rate of 24.5%.
Responses were as follows:

Car park paid for over 10 years
Car park paid for over 1 year
No car park at all
Undecided Responders

Of the 147 replies 19 (13%) stated that the school should be asked to contribute a higher amount towards the project; 14 (10%) replies stated they required further information to make an informed decision.
With regard to what else the area could be used for 52 replies expressed an opinion, even if they opted to have a car park. Suggestions included: Communal area (11), Allotments (7), Extension to the Cemetery (5), Community Shop/Post Office, Animal Grazing; being sold to a developer / affordable housing (6); car park should be a “pay & display; money should be spent elsewhere in the Parish; an Orchard, a whole field car park.
The 24.5% response is a good return and should therefore provide reliable feedback on views in the Parish. Unfortunately it does show there is a divergence of opinion with 39% in favour of the car park and 45% against this does not provide a decisive outcome, especially with 16% of responses yet to decide. 
If the Council decides not to proceed with the car park then the qualitative data can be used to identify areas for further investigations.
Parish Clerk
30 November 2015

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