A PETITION has been launched in a bid to keep the Denmark Street car park in Wokingham’s town centre open.
On Friday, August 23, signs went up on the entrance to the Euro Car Parks site, warning that it will close at midnight on bank holiday Monday.
The Wokingham Borough Council-owned car park is unaffected and will open as normal on Tuesday.
Now, Wokingham Town Council councillor Daniel Hinton has launched the petition in a bid to get the decision overturned.
The petition reads: “As of midnight on Monday the 26th of August the landlord (Lunar Office Sarl) will be closing Denmark street car park for good.
“This follows a denied planning application on this car park for overly expensive flats. Denmark street car park is a needed part of the Wokingham infrastructure and this petition is to say to Wokingham Borough Council and Lunar Office that we would like for you to come up with a solution that keeps our car park open.”
Cllr Hinton told The Wokingham Paper: “The petition is our way as local residents to show we support keeping Denmark Street car park open as this is an important part of infrastructure to Wokingham.
“Proof of this is just by walking into the car park – there is hardly ever a free space.
“We have just opened lots of new shops at Peach Place. This will reduce the number of people using our town – not to forget the upheaval our existing shops and traders have experienced over the last two years with the regeneration.
“With all these new and positive things going on in our town we want to be encouraging people to come to Wokingham. This does the exact opposite.
“This is a difficult position since the land is not owned by Wokingham Borough Council, but a private company who have thrown the toys out of the pram.
“WBC have already declined the planning application. We currently do not know if they will appeal or change the application.
“Myself and [former Wokingham Town Council leader] Dave Davis have a meeting with the leader of WBC to discuss this and to ask what can be done to keep the carpark open.
“After talking to [Wokingham Borough Council leader] Cllr John Halsall today on the phone he has ensured me that the council are doing everything they can at the moment.”
Cllr Hinton said that they will be encouraging support for the petition.
“We need people to sign this petition and we will also be collecting signatures in town to show the landlord and WBC we need this carpark and with a strong collective voice appeal for them to come to a resolution between them,” he said.
One person who signed the petition pointed out that it is used not just by motorists but pedestrians as it links Howard Palmer Gardens to the library.
They noted: “The loss of this car park is nonsensical. I use it as a cut-through but it is always busy with people trying to park.”
Another said: “This is the only easily accessible car park for those of us who drive in from the Finchampstead side of town. Imagine all the cars using Langborough Road to get to other car parks that are already full. A nightmare.”
To sign the petition, click here.