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Redeveloped car park to be ‘smarter, safer and cheaper to run’

The redevelopment of a town centre car park in Sandbach, costing more than £150,000, will begin next month after four years of planning.

Work to improve the Small Common Car Park will start on Monday, 10th July and it is hoped the facelift will be completed by September. The car park will be out of action for around three months.

There will be no change to the number of standard parking spaces, currently 17. Two additional disabled parking bays will be added to the existing two. A bike rack will also be installed.

Coun Donal Hegarty, chair of the Small Common Redevelopment Sub-Committee, which first met in August 2019 to consider the facelift, told the Chronicle that it would be the first major infrastructure project to be completed in Sandbach in four years.

He said: “We did a regeneration of the market but it wasn’t drastic.

“We’re going to have four disabled bays and we’re not losing capacity for the (parking) lanes; we’re making use of the space.

“To promote the use of cycling in the town there will be a bike rack towards the front of the car park, by the Foden memorial, and there will be planters around it to make it more aesthetically pleasing.”

Coun Hegarty continued: “We’re also addressing the issue of big trucks randomly using the Small Common as a turning point by putting a gateway into it. And near Morrison’s there will be a drop-down bollard, with some more bollards near the back of the market.

“It’s one of the first projects that the town council has completed in terms of improving the actual town. Usually we just put on events like Party in the Park.”

The project will come in £48,000 under budget thanks to a 12-week consultation where the committee’s original design received negative feedback. It included installing six large canopies, under which traders would have been able to set up their stalls for the outdoor market so that council staff would not have to erect multiple gazebos, and a memorial for those who lost their lives to covid.

The car park is expected to be out-of-action for three months, but Coun Hegarty insisted that the town is not short of parking spaces and suggested that residents could park near Westfields, Cheshire East Council’s headquarters.

He added: “It’s an inconvenience in the short term but the benefits outweigh the negatives in the long term.

“Once the work is done, the area will be smarter, safer and cheaper to run.”

For more information about the Small Common Car Park plans, residents can email the town council at info@sandbach.gov.uk.

(Photo: STC).

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