READER LETTER: Three options to solve Harleston car parks issue – but an obvious solution has been missed

MDEP-16-11-2016-033 Broad Street Car Park Harleston
MDEP-16-11-2016-033 Broad Street Car Park Harleston

In your report of the recent meeting in Harleston (Public will have say on parking proposals, Diss Express, August 11) at which the three options facing residents were outlined, one obvious solution has been missed.

This is the option of the town purchasing the freehold of the car parks from South Norfolk District Council.

The town has, in recent years, accumulated sizeable financial reserves. It is, therefore, perfectly possible for the town to undertake this option. There are two possibilities.

Firstly, an outright purchase using existing reserves.

Secondly, a sizeable deposit, say 50 per cent, with the remaining finance being borrowed at very low local authority interest rates.

The interest payments would be considerable less that the outgoings proposed in option three.

In buying the car parks, the town would be making the very best use of accumulated cash reserves and would remove, at a stroke, this four-yearly cycle of negotiations concerning car parking.

The town would also have a perpetually valid marketing slogan, namely: “Shop in Harleston where parking is free.”

The purchase of these car parks would immediately resolve the dilemma over the parking spaces owned by the newly-renovated Co-op store.

It would also be a wonderful investment in the town’s future.

Finally, would it not be sensible to ask businesses and residents to contribute to the purchase in order to enhance our unique town?

Richard Spurgin

Willow Walk

Harleston

- Send your letters to editorial@dissexpress.co.uk, or by post to Diss Express, Norfolk and Suffolk House, Mere Street, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4AE. Please provide a street name and a town/village