Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Car parks across Mid & East Antrim could see price rise in New Year
Mid and East Antrim motorists could be facing a price rise in the borough’s carparks in the New Year following a review of charges requested at a meeting of the Borough Council’s Policy and Resources Committee last month.
The issue was raised at a meeting behind closed doors by Deputy Mayor TUV Councillor Matthew Armstrong who called for parking fees across the borough to be examined to “establish consistency”.
Party colleague Councillor Brian Collins, a Braid representative, asked for a report to be brought before members early in 2022 to enable them to “give their views in respect of uniformity of the pricing structure of carparks”.
Last week, councillors were reminded that a new parking charge is to be introduced at one of Mid and East Antrim’s key visitor attractions.
The council’s Direct Services Committee was told that when a new automatic barrier is installed at Carnfunnock Country Park, outside Larne, an off-peak charge of £1 will come into effect. The charge was proposed by Carrickfergus DUP councillor Alderman Billy Ashe at a meeting behind closed doors in January.
Councillors have also agreed to remove the charge of £1 for a five-hour stay at Ballymena’s multi-storey carpark at Springwell Street and revert to a 60 pence per hour charge on completion of the waterproofing remedial work to the upper deck.
The council’s Operators Director Philip Thompson said he believed a “greater level of income was required towards improving the infrastructure”and the charge was a “relatively low tariff in comparison” to other multi-storeys.
He reported that the Springwell Street multi-storey carpark is worth £1.9m.
Remedial work is to be carried out at a cost of £300k to the upper deck and structural work is to be included in the capital plan.
Ballymena DUP Councillor John Carson said he would support the recommendation for the maintenance project if repair work to the lift is carried out.
Last November, the local authority decided against leasing Circular Road West carpark in Larne town centre which could have realised rent of £15,000 per annum. It is currently a ‘pay and display’ site.
A 1.27 acre lorry carpark, also at Circular Road was on the market for £350,000 before it was sold by the council to fast food giant McDonald’s.