Parking ban outside town centre church looks set to be reversed

Christchurch Great Yarmouth

The forecourt outside Christchurch in Great Yarmouth, where people attending clubs in the building used to park their cars until Norfolk County Council imposed a ban. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

A ban on parking outside an "important community hub" looks set to be reversed after members voiced concerns about walking dark streets at night.

For years, people who attend clubs at Christchurch, on King Street in Great Yarmouth, had parked their cars on the forecourt outside the church.

But in May, signs appeared, erected by Norfolk County Council, stating that parking was banned on the verge or footway.

Christchurch Great Yarmouth

In May, signs banning parking appeared on the forecourt outside Christchurch in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Andy Ingram, 60, property manager and caretaker at the church, said that until the ban, he used to issue permits to people involved with the church or clubs using the premises.

"It was going along lovely, then all of a sudden, bang," he said. The forecourt has been used for parking since at least the 1970s.

Mr Ingram said that other cars had started parking in the area during the lockdown and that the church and the clubgoers were being "penalised" for something they didn't do.

"There was no consultation, they just did it, that was the first I knew of it, that's why why we're fighting to get it back," he said.

Most Read

He said the church was "one of the major hubs in Great Yarmouth, right in the centre of town, we have loads of clubs that come to this place".

Most of the clubgoers were elderly, he said, and will not walk from the carpark on King Street up the alleyways.

"And to be honest I can't blame them. Even I don't walk up those alleyways at night," he said.

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: “We aware of the concerns and we are planning to change the legal restriction so parking will be allowed in that area in the future.

"We’re working on the details of that at the moment and expect to undertake the necessary statutory consultation, on a change to the legal order, this summer.”

Tim Wooldridge, who attends a music club at the church twice a month, said that members depend on the area outside the church for parking.

"I'm 83 and I have an arthritic ankle," he said. "I don't walk very far, it's not safe walking from King Street carpark, which is the nearest."

He echoed Mr Ingram's sentiment about the importance of the church.