Blighted car park left in the dark

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A TADCASTER shop owner says he has repeatedly complained to the council after the town’s main car park had been without street lighting for three weeks.

David Stainthorpe, 59, of Thorner told the Wetherby News the lighting had not been working in Central Area car park for nearly a month and was a potential danger to pedestrians and motorists.

Mr Stainthorpe, who has run his bike shop business Cyclesense in Tadcaster for nearly 20 years, said: “For three weeks the car park has had no lights at all and I find this completely unacceptable.

“With the dark evenings it has been dangerous for people to park here as the car park access system is quite confusing.

“They often do not know which is the entrance and exit into the car park, and it is quite dangerous for people coming in and out of the park.

“Coupled with the car park’s many dangerous potholes and huge puddles, it is even more of a problem.”

Mr Stainthorpe, says the car park lighting had also affected shop traders in the town.

He added: “I do think this has had an affect on my business as shoppers and people who work here haven’t been able to park in the car park over the last few weeks.

“However, this is not my main concern, the number one reason we need the lights there is for safety.”

Last month the Wetherby News reported how a number of residents had raised concerns about the number of potholes blighting the Central Area car park.

Retired licensee Ron Lewis, 80, said then that he believed the Central Area car park in the town is in such a state that he fears drivers will damage their cars or get injured walking to and from their vehicles.

He said: “The car park is in a terrible condition and has been for a very long time now.

“There are potholes between four and six inches deep all over the place. It is a mess.”

A spokesperson for Selby District Council told the Wetherby News that the lighting problem had been fixed with temporarily lighting installations fitted on Thursday, December 22.

Meanwhile, plans to resurface the car park, which has been blighted with problems in recent months in Tadcaster, face further delays as the local authority awaits the result of a High Court appeal.

The proposed redevelopment of Tadcaster’s Central Area car park was approved by Selby District Council in April, but Samuel Smith Old Brewery applied for a judicial review of the process.

It claims the plans “do not represent a reasonable use of public funds”.

The application for a judicial review was refused in September, but the brewery appealed, meaning the plans cannot go ahead until the appeal is held at London’s High Court next year.

Council leader Mark Crane said: “Yet again we’ve found our plans, developed with the best intentions for the people and businesses of Tadcaster, have had to be put on hold.

“We’d like to work alongside the brewery, a significant landowner in the area, to redevelop Tadcaster and support the town to prosper.

“But it is difficult to match the needs of local residents and businesses with the expectations of the brewery.”

The plans include using asphalt to resurface the 146-space car park, improve access and exits, and update drainage works.

But it is mainly the use of asphalt that Cunnane Town Planning, on behalf of Samuel Smith, disagreed with, despite the land not being owned by the brewery.

Selby District Council granted permission for an upgrade of the Central Area car park in April 2011.

But Tadcaster-based Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, objected, leading to a judicial review.

Samuel Smith’s Brewery were unavailable for comment.

sarah.dawson@ypn.co.uk