A free car park in Stone, owned by the police, has been closed after barriers were damaged.
Due to the proposed sale of the former police station site, it has been clear for some time that this car park would eventually become unavailable to the Council.
Agreement had been reached with the police that, providing the car park was cleared for specific periods to allow for the viewing of the site by prospective purchasers, the Council could continue to offer the site as a free car park until it was sold. It was also hoped to continue this arrangement with the eventual purchasers until they were ready to use the site themselves.
Unfortunately, a number of individuals have taken it upon themselves to damage and remove the Council’s barriers during the time that the Car Park has been required to be temporarily closed for viewings, and park their vehicles anyway.
This is despite the temporary closure being clearly signposted. As a result, the Council has incurred unnecessary expense in reinstating barriers, and cannot guarantee to be able to meet the requirement to ensure that the car park is clear for viewings.
In these circumstances, the Council cannot realistically continue to operate the free car park. It will therefore be handed back to the Police with immediate effect.
Les Trigg, Town Clerk, said: “It is unfortunate that the actions of a few thoughtless individuals have resulted in the Northesk Street car park having to be handed back to the Police earlier than the Council would have liked. The Council cannot, however, put itself in a position where it is unable to
fulfil its agreement with the Police or continue to incur unnecessary expenditure reinstating the barrier."