Council to discuss plan to instigate charges at Honiton car park - behind closed doors!

Honiton Town Council has resolved to develop the car park in Dowell Street into a paying facility.

Honiton Town Council has resolved to develop the car park in Dowell Street into a paying facility. - Credit: Archant

One of Honiton’s free-stay car parks could soon have charges imposed - but details of how it will happen looks set to remain behind closed doors.

Town councillors will tonight consider the manner in which to re-instigate a pay and display car park in the Beehive Car Park.

However, the council cites the ‘confidential nature’ of the business as a reason to discuss the subject among themselves - away from the ears of the press and public.

Tonight’s discussion will come more than four months after a motion to transform the car park into a pay-and-display facility was supported by councillors.

At a meeting on February 27, Councillor John Taylor submitted a report to the council in which he voiced concerns that the Dowell Street-based car park falls into section 1.1a of Government guidance on car parks.

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His report said: “[This section is] namely car parks open for use by the general public and forming a separate hereditament for rating purposes.

“The car park is separate from the Community Centre Building (CCB) building and that is stated in the land transfer document that specifies it must not be used to support the activities within the CCB.”

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Cllr Taylor’s report said it is ‘probable that the car park should have attracted rates’, since East Devon District Council pays rates on its own car parks.

Speaking at the meeting, then-mayor Cllr John Zarczynski told councillors needed to look at the Covenant and terms of the Land Transfer Agreement.

He said: “We are not here to serve the Beehive – we are here to serve the ratepayers of Honiton.

“What we must also consider is East Devon District Council has a new policy now that they expect each council to capitalise on their assets. We have got an asset in the car park, and we could raise a reasonable income from it.”

Tonight’s meeting will take place at The Beehive, starting at 7pm.

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