Demolition proposal will create over 30 additional car parking spaces
Release date: 11 December 2018
Members of Cotswold District Council have today agreed to the proposed demolition of the Old Memorial Hospital building in Cirencester and the creation of an additional 33 car parking spaces in the centre of town.
The building, which is owned by the Council, is located on a site which includes the Sheep Street public car park. At present the car park provides 80 spaces (including 2 bays for disabled users) and the proposed demolition project should increase this to 113 spaces (including 5 bays for disabled use). Significantly, the other buildings on the site – cottages and the World War 2 air raid shelter – will remain intact.
Subject to planning permission being granted, the work would begin during the summer of 2019 with a view to making the new spaces available for use by the autumn.
The Council estimates that the cost of the demolition and subsequent car park works will be in the region of £682,000, and it is estimated that these costs will be recouped within ten years through the increase in parking revenue at the site.
Commenting on the plan, CDC Cabinet Member for the Cirencester Parking Project Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington said,
“Cabinet first agreed this course of action back in April 2016, so the Council decision today should come as no surprise. The Old Memorial Hospital building has been empty for almost six years and the average annual maintenance costs are increasing. In fact, we believe that the net cost of maintaining the building’s structural stability is likely to be about £230,000 over the next ten years.
“We also investigated the option of refurbishing the building for commercial use, but this would involve extensive and expensive works, including the removal of asbestos. Moreover, it would take at least 17 years to recoup the estimated £1.83 million refurbishment costs and this would lengthen if some of the rental space was vacant during that period.
“All in all, we believe that demolition is the best option as it will deliver much needed parking spaces in the town centre, and I am sure that this will be much appreciated by many motorists and traders. I should also point out that, together with other plans, this would help mitigate the loss of parking if we gain planning approval for the development of a multi-storey car park at the Waterloo site, and also gives us the opportunity to look at longer term future development opportunities, including parking options.”