Two key parking issues affecting Haslemere were discussed at the Town Hall  when representatives of the Chamber, Town Council and Haslemere Vision met a Waverley delegation including Environmental Services portfolio holder Andrew Bolton and manager Richard Homewood, and Economic Development portfolio holder Jim Edwards.

Parking charging strategy

Waverley has undertaken to review tariffs across the four existing car parks where charges apply, in a bid to balance the needs of shoppers, local businesses and commuters against the Borough’s revenue requirement. Proposals arising from the review will be submitted to the Chamber and other groups for comment in due course. The Chamber has pressed for a wider dialogue, extended to include Surrey County Council, South Western Railway and other off-street parking providers, to allow a holistic approach to parking provision and charging.

Wey Hill ‘Fairground’ car park

There is general agreement that the site could have development potential – and that the current arrangement providing free parking for commuters is unreasonable. Any future building on the site would, however, depend on an assessment of the underlying ground conditions. Waverley’s upgrade plan, if the land is successfully de-registered, involves charging for parking, following improvements including tarmac surfaces for the ‘roads’ and permeable surfaces for the parking bays to facilitate drainage. Waverley believes the costs of improvement can be recouped within two years. Waverley has given two undertakings:

  • To retain a short term parking area for Wey Hill businesses and their customers.
  • To finance a ground conditions investigation from future income.

Our understanding is that if the land is declared suitable for building and if a suitable development proposal is forthcoming, the council will give it a fair hearing.

Next steps

The Chamber has been invited to submit comment relevant to the de-registration application by the end of March. If any members hold opinions on either of the above issues that they would like included in the Chamber’s comment, please email them to the President no later than 23 March.