COMMUNITY leaders are considering taking on a piece of derelict land and turning it into a two-storey car park.
Leek Mayor John Fisher has put forward the motion for the town council to either purchase or lease the former Kwik Fit site in High Street to help alleviate parking issues in the market town.
The town council debated the issue at its monthly meeting.
Councillor Fisher asked fellow members: “What is the viability of the town council running a car park? “We all know that parking is an issue in this town.” Councillor John Povey questioned the potential costs to the town council if they were to take on such a project.
He said: “Not only is there the question of leasing the site or purchasing it, but there will also be at least £5,000 in professional costs to get the designs and so on prepared for the planning application which will be needed.” The site is currently owned by housing association Your Housing.
Councillor Brian Johnson said: “The big cost will be to make it big enough to make it viable.
“It would need to have at least a lower part and one higher deck above.
“Could this council buy this site from Your Moorlands by taking out a loan? “We need to decide if this is something we want to do.
“We would need to look into the initial costs and take it from there. But it is quite a realistic idea.” The debate resulted in the council agreeing to “look into” the possibility of taking on the High Street land.
The Post & Times has since contacted Your Moorlands about the site.
Nick Grubb, head of Your Moorlands, said: “Your Moorlands is continuing with option appraisals for the former Kwik Fit site on the High Street.
“We are mindful of its proximity to the town centre and the need to put something in place that benefits the town and doesn’t detract from the overall street scene.
“Following discussions with the town council we fully understand the pressures regarding parking and this may be an option we can explore further, either in partnership or through sale of the land.
“This discussion is on-going and we would hope to be able to update local residents on plans in the near future.”