Pier car park call creates confusion

PUBLISHED: 21:17 18 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 03 July 2010

BOROUGH councillors are again at cross purposes over Gorleston Pier car park - with doubt cast on whether cabinet members would back a call for its re-opening.

BOROUGH councillors are again at cross purposes over Gorleston Pier car park - with doubt cast on whether cabinet members would back a call for its re-opening.

Deputy leader Barry Stone has questioned whether the time is right to put pressure on owners Eastport for the dilapidated car park to be bought back into use.

Mr Stone made his views clear just a week after members of the council's Gorleston area scrutiny committee unanimously declared support for the car park's re-opening.

The committee called on Tim Howard, head of regeneration and environment, to raise the issue with port bosses - but the decision has to be approved by cabinet councillors before any approach can be made.

However, Mr Stone told the Mercury that it was a greater importance for Eastport to manage the outer harbour rather than spend time and resources on the car park.

He said: “The car would need more than re-surfacing because there are structural problems that need addressing. It is important to find out how severe they are, but the council does not own the pier or have funds for its repair.

“I don't think this is on the agenda for cabinet next week, but my recommendation would be to do nothing. The priority is to get the outer harbour up and running and for Eastport to generate revenue from that; once that happens perhaps the car park can be addressed.

“The needs of seafront businesses, residents and holidaymakers are not being overlooked, but it is vital to make the port a success.

“Now that the summer season is over, the parking situation should not be as difficult, which means the issue is of less immediate concern.”

Mr Stone added that the council was looking at providing extra parking spaces on the section of the Esplanade near the boat pond closed to traffic.

Last week, Gorleston ward councillor Bert Collins revealed the structural problems on the pier meant it could be closed for good the same day that colleagues called for its re-opening.

Since the car park shut in June, residents and local businesses have waged a vocal campaign for its re-opening. The loss of parking spaces at the popular wave watching spot has been blamed for causing traffic chaos on the seafront throughout the summer.

Hundreds of people have signed petitions at shops, cafés and restaurants close to the pier, with a further 350 names on an online petition on the website of prime minister Gordon Brown.

To sign the petition visit or

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