At June’s Council meeting I asked the Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport once again about why no car park had been built outside the old Coronet cinema building to alleviate parking problems for neighbours and customers of Kinesis Gym and neighbouring shops.
The answer was as follows:
“I can confirm that the Council has lost patience with the Cathedral Group and is actively exploring legal action to ensure the delivery of parking spaces. I cannot give an exact date for when the car park will be built.”
For those that can remember that far back, the original plans for the Coronet included a small car park on the grass outside the gym. It was only 20 or so spaces, but it is quite clear that as the gym has become more busy, they are badly needed to stop parking problems in the surrounding areas of the Progress Estate and Tom Coombs Close.
When the gym was finished, the developers Cathedral Group simply did not put the car park in place. Since then I’ve asked both the Council and Cathedral Group about where the car park, only for each side to blame the other. Cathedral think the Council should have handed the land over for them to build on, while the Council think Cathedral needed to formally request this. Either way over more than two years now, there doesn’t appear to be much progress, so maybe the Council’s legal action will make Cathedral start some work to help local residents and businesses.
As an aside, I did ask Cllr Danny Thorpe a follow-up question about whether the Council could use Cathedral Group’s failure to behave properly on this site as a reason for turning down applications on other sites (like the Telegraph Works site in Greenwich where they have recently been given permission to build). As I recall his answer, Danny informed me that life simply isn’t that simple! Sadly, he is probably right.
The full question and answer are as follows:
Question from Councillor Spencer Drury, to Councillor Danny Thorpe, Cabinet Member.
One year ago the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport apologised for the delay in building a car park outside the refurbished Coronet cinema on the Well Hall roundabout. He assured me that the Council was in active discussions with the developer to deliver the car park which was included in the planning permission; however there has been no progress in building the car park. Can the Cabinet Member inform me how many deals the Council have done with Cathedral Group or related companies in the intervening period and if there is a date by which he expects to see this car park built.
Reply – I thank Councillor Drury for his question.
I can confirm that the Council has lost patience with the Cathedral Group and is actively exploring legal action to ensure the delivery of parking spaces. I cannot give an exact date for when the car park will be built.
As far as I am aware there have been no ‘deals’ with the Cathedral Group in the past year.