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Parking fees across Brentwood will remain unchanged from April but the borough council has warned of increases once the new King Georges playing field is fully in operation.
The no change to parking fees this year – pending the outcome of a car parking strategy expected to be completed in the summer – means for the time being for example parking charges at William Hunter Way are set to remain at £1 for one hour or £2 for two hours.
But higher charges are expected to be introduced later in the year at King Georges playing fields – with warnings that charges could encourage visitors using local roads to park rather than paying for parking.
With over 1,500 off-street car parking spaces within council operated car parks in the borough yielding annual revenue of over £1.5m, car parks in Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone make a large and vital contribution to the council’s revenue income stream.
Separately, the council has said its forecasts that parking fees for King Georges, of which a £7m refit encompassing a new pavilion, soft play, splash pad and outdoor sky trail is almost complete, will generate around £116,000 a year.
The car parking fees and charges, which will need to be agreed by members as part of the annual fees and charges, will determine a significant proportion of the financial viability of the scheme to be operated by a wholly owned company of Brentwood Council.
The car park fees and charges will also need to be aligned with the council’s car parking strategy across the whole borough, it says.
In the meantime parking at King Georges playing fields will remain free for under four hours or at £5 for over four hours.
The council is aware that increasing charges may encourage on street parking on roads around the park.
A statement to the Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee to meet on February 2 said: “The parking will be supported by civil enforcement officers whose scheduled rounds will be altered to include the car parks at King Georges.
“Concern has been expressed over visitors to the park using local roads to park causing local issues and avoiding the parking tariffs within the park.
“The council has met South Essex Parking Partnership who enforce on the local roads around King Georges Park and will continue to enforce.
“Restrictions are already in place on surrounding roads, and this has so far limited use of the surrounding roads for parking.
“The council’s civil enforcement officers and SEPP officers will continue to monitor the situation and report back any issues.”