Ivybridge car park under pressure
Preparations begin for regeneration
People using two busy car parks in the center of Ivybridge fear there will be too few spaces to leave their vehicles when an area is fenced off on Monday [10 January].
South Hams District Council has admitted parking capacity in Glanvilles Mill and Leonards Road car parks will be reduced for the week.
Parts of the car park will be fenced off as preparatory work for a proposed £9million regeneration project for the city begins. The redevelopment is expected to include a new Aldi supermarket in the Leonards Road car park.
The council apologized for any inconvenience, but some people who regularly use the car parks say they are unhappy.
Darryl, who lives in the area, said: “It can only make doing business in Ivybridge more difficult. This will reduce attendance and probably irritate people. We might lose some custom.
He also doubted the new Aldi supermarket would increase footfall.
“If there is no parking lot where people go to park for their groceries?” he said.
Plans for the new store will provide adequate parking when completed.
Another local resident, Lisa, also expressed concern about the impact of closing parts of the car park.
“I live fairly locally so I can walk to work,” she said.
“But a lot of my colleagues who work on the high street don’t know where they’re going to park, so they’re going to clog up a lot of the rest of Ivybridge.
“I think there are going to be a lot of cars everywhere.”
Regarding the construction of a new supermarket and the impact on parking, Lisa was cautiously optimistic. “Apparently there will be enough for everyone to use what they need.
“I think long term, the jury is out on who I’m afraid of at the moment.
“But I think the streets of Ivybridge are going to get a lot more congested.”
Regeneration plans include developing a section of the Leonards Road car park to include the Aldi store. Earlier consultations suggested that the proposal had broad support from local people.
It is estimated that the planned store could create between 30 and 40 jobs, with up to 100 shoppers able to use it at any one time.
Buyers are expected to use other city facilities as well while in the area.
Construction preparations come as plans for a new city footbridge have been submitted to replace one of the existing wooden level crossings in the city centre.
The Pont du Nord, which spans the Erme and connects the Moulin de Glanvilles to the nearby car park, was built in the mid-1980s but has since suffered from rot.
If adopted, the replacement bridge would be metal rather than wood.
South Hams District Council is inviting people to comment on the proposed bridge replacement until Thursday, January 13.