Fight to protect Wimbledon Broadway car park continues as residents insist it is a ‘vital’ service


People are angry that the land may be developed


By SWLondoner staff

Wimbledon residents are fighting to save a popular car park from being put on the open market.

This March, Merton Council agreed to put the car park on the open market without restriction on use, something which has angered those who believe the property should remain as it is.

Chairman of the Car Park Action Group, Viviane Delbourgo said that the parking available on the site ensures businesses in the area remain viable.

“The car park is of great amenity value to the local community, supporting the New Wimbledon Theatre, Polka Theatre and the shops and services along Wimbledon Broadway and the surrounding streets.  All of these assets make an enormous positive contribution to the local area,” she said.

In addition, if the site were to be developed, the loss of parking at this location would put even greater pressure on the few parking spaces that are available in the surrounding streets that are designated as pay and display.”

Last Friday, the group made an application to Merton Council for the car park to be listed as an ‘asset of community value’. This means that should the council choose to sell it, a six month period would be triggered during which the community group will have the right to prepare a bid before it can be sold on the open marker.

The net revenue from the car park currently totals £220,000 per year, and Conservative councillors say that the loss of this revenue will put additional pressure on Merton Council’s revenue budget. 

The surface level car park operates at or near full capacity and is one of the most popular in Wimbledon.

Abbey Ward Conservative Councillor Henry Nelless said: “Residents rightly recognise the importance of parking in town centres and are thinking of nothing more than the  long-term future of Wimbledon Town Centre. 

“Given that residents have now nominated the site to be listed as a community asset, we hope that when Cabinet meets on June 10 2013, they will respect the residents’ application.”

Photo courtesy of tim caynes, with thanks.

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