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Drivers defy Newington Road pool car park ban

By Isle of Thanet Gazette  |  Posted: September 06, 2013

DEFIANCE: Drivers parked in the pool car park

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DRIVERS defied barriers to the Newington pool car park as traffic mounted up on the first day back to school.

County councillors have demanded that Thanet council restores the use of the Newington Road car park.

Martyn Heale and Trevor Shonk say they are “dismayed” that TDC has put concrete blocks across the entrance leaving a gap only big enough for one car to drive through.

They say this will cause a back-up of vehicles along Newington Road, especially as parents try and drop their children off at St Laurence junior school.

The pool closed this month following the opening of a new one at Ramsgate sports centre and the land is earmarked to be sold to KFRS for a new fire station. But the car park is still used by residents, patients at the Newington Road clinic and parents of children at the junior school and Small Haven School.

Mr Heale said: “We are dismayed that Thanet District Council find it necessary to impede the parking facility that has been available to local groups for decades at the Ramsgate swimming pool site by placing unsightly concrete blocks across the entrance, causing single vehicle entry/exit which will cause chaos in Newington Road at busy times.”

Mr Shonk said the car park should remain open until an alternative is found.

A Thanet council spokesman said the blocks are a temporary measure while a contamination survey of the ground takes place.

They added: ““The concrete blocks across the frontage of the Ramsgate pool site are a temporary measure whilst the council undertakes a necessary contamination survey. This work requires diggers and other equipment in site and so, for health and safety reasons, the car park has been closed to the public during this time. Following the works the blocks will be removed to allow temporary parking until the site is sold.

“The council is currently investigating options for the provision of parking for (Warre) park users as part of the process of the sale of the site.”

But TDC deputy leader Alan Poole said the council does not have to provide parking for the school run.

In an email seen by the Gazette he states: “The site is private property and TDC has absolutely no obligation to provide parking for the school run or anyone else for that matter.”

He suggests pupils should take the healthy option and walk and says county councillors should work with St Laurence on the “school drop off problem."

*A TDC spokesman says the authority is not bound by an historic covenant to restrict the site to leisure use.

The land was gifted to Ramsgate Borough Council by Arthur Warre in January 1900, for 1,000 years with the stipulation that it be used for sports, athletics and general recreation.

But the site was bought by TDC in 1930 for £100.

The spokesman said: "When the council purchased the site in 1930 it was free of any encumbrances or covenants which would restrict the use of the land."

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