news release

Proposal to create more car parking spaces

A proposal that could lead to creating more car parking spaces in Witney will be considered by West Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 10 January.

The Council will be considering whether it wishes to join forces with USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd), the Woolgate Centre’s leasehold company, to look at the feasibility of adding a deck to part of the existing Woolgate car park.

The Council’s Parking Strategy identified the need for a total of 600 additional off street spaces by 2031 due to the planned development of 4587 new homes in the sub-area (2016 – 2031) which is a 31% increase, as well as an increase in jobs in the town and a reduction in on-street parking.

Cllr James Mills, Leader at West Oxfordshire District Council said “We welcome the proposals from USS and the opportunity to work with them to explore how we can increase Witney’s car parking capacity to support the town centre and local economy.

“A decked car park could meet, in part, the town’s future parking needs as set out in our Parking Strategy, and it would support an extension to retail units.

“However, it will require investment to fund scheme drawings and undertake feasibility studies regarding town planning, traffic, highways, and commercial viability, as well as considering what contractual arrangements could be developed between the Council and USS.

“This investment does not guarantee that a viable scheme will be identified, and no decision has been made on the size of any car park or number of spaces at this stage. The proposal is simply a consideration as to whether such a development is a feasible option for delivering additional parking. We would, of course, also need to look at the funding options available.”

The Woolgate is the largest car park in Witney and the Council is the freeholder of the site, but much of the site is leased to USS.

There are a number of planning considerations which would need to be fully considered if development at this location is proposed, as the site sits within a Conservation Area and flood zone and any potential impacts on traffic flow and nearby residents would need to be fully explored.

If, through this initial work, it is established that a scheme could be feasible, the next stage would be preparation of a planning application.