Temporary Dolphin Square car park deemed ‘not viable’ by council
PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 June 2018
A temporary car park will not be created at Dolphin Square while housing plans for the area progress, despite businesses ‘suffering’ from development delays.
Homes England, the Government’s house-building department, will create hundreds of flats adjacent to the recently-completed Dolphin Square leisure hub – home to restaurants and a cinema.
North Somerset Council has revealed it reviewed if it was viable to use the site – which will eventually be harvested for ‘400 contemporary apartments’ – for parking while Homes England endures delays with the project due to staffing changes and an electricity substation which needs relocating.
The Mercury understands businesses around Dolphin Square believe using the site for parking would improve trade and footfall, and reduce the building site’s unsightly look.
But the numbers did not add up for the council.
A spokesman said: “The council has undertaken a costing exercise to see if using the Homes England Dolphin Square site, which will be converted into 400 contemporary apartments, as a temporary car park is viable.
“The cost of making the surface safe enough for cars, installing a parking metre and making the area accessible for all would have been too costly for a space that would only be beneficial for big events, such as the air show.
“We already have several long and short stay parking options in the town centre, including off and on street in the town centre, as well as 4,000 spaces on the beach.
“We will keep this under review and should the need for additional parking increase, we will look at Dolphin Square again.”
Central ward councillor Richard Nightingale said he is frustrated with the lack of progress with the housing project, and called on Homes England to ‘step up’.
He said: “It has been more than a year since Homes England bought the remainder of the Dolphin Square site from McLaren Life, yet the council has still not received its proposals via planning application, for its development.
“Traders and residents are suffering due to the current poor condition of the site and the fact that construction is not underway has held back the economic regeneration of the area.
“Homes England needs to take steps immediately to address the issue.”