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More car parking spaces are found for Westgate revamp
AN extra 200 temporary car parking spaces at Oxpens will be built under plans to help accommodate shoppers during the Westgate development.
Council officers last night revealed a further 200 spaces on land next to Oxpens owned by the British Rail Residuary Board will be created while work to revamp the shopping centre goes ahead.
It comes after the council’s city executive board added its support to plans to create up to 559 spaces – 200 more than anticipated – next to the ice rink at Oxpens while the development goes ahead between 2015 and 2017.
Speaking at the board meeting last night, regeneration director David Edwards announced the extra spaces.
He said: “It’s part and parcel of the Westgate scheme.
“We do wish to see parking retained to support the city centre as part of the overall scheme and we are able to do that at the Oxpens site.
“The British Rail Residuary Board, which owns land next door, has said it will make available a further 200 spaces.”
Under the council’s plans, the existing 1,090 spaces at Westgate will be replaced with a temporary car park at Oxpens providing 250 spaces, with an option for a deck above it with 109 spaces.
Liberal Democrat councillor Jean Fooks welcomed the announcement.
She also called for disused space in the nearby station car park to be used.
“Clearly we need to have enough car parking to keep the city centre going,” she said.
“There is an alternative for some of these places. The station car park is almost never fully used and there may be a possibility of opening some spaces there for personal use.”
Mr Edwards said the station car park was often only two-thirds or three-quarters full.
He said: “We have approached owners First Great Western and are still having discussions with them.”
Under the council plans, the existing coach parking will be moved to the Redbridge park-and-ride near Botley Road, where 35 spaces will be created, leading to a loss of 259 of the existing 1,470 car spaces at the site.
The cost of the project could range from £2.7m, if no decking or coach drop-off service at Oxpens are considered, to £3.8m if both are factored in.
Cash for the project is expected to come from a pot of £3.3m, which was put aside by the council from an underspend on its revenue budget for 2012/13.
The proposals will be signed off by full council in November.
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