Villagers win fight to keep their car park

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Villagers look to have won their battle to prevent their only car park being sold off, but are being warned they could end up paying for it.

Shopkeepers and residents in Rainworth had lobbied local councillors to step in after they found that Nottinghamshire County Council had planned to auction off the Southwell Road East car park.

They said it would kill off local trade.

Rainworth Parish Council has now voted to pay £11,000 for the car park in total, including the £1,000 fee to remove it from the auction list.

Mick Kistner, whose partner runs a salon close to the car park, said: “We are quite relieved, everybody needs that car park, it’s the only one in Rainworth.”

However, it was revealed that Rainworth Parish Council had been offered the car park for free last year, and turned it down, claiming it needed around £2,000 worth of maintenance work.

Some parish councillors then claimed they did not know that Nottinghamshire County Council would then sell off the car park.

But Rainworth and Newark and Sherwood councillor, Linda Tift said: “It was a lost opportunity.

“This is council policy up and down the country, there was no responsibility on the part of the county council to come back and tell us what they were going to do.

“The parish council was given a chance and said ‘no’.”

Coun Tift said that they will now look at how to cover the cost of the car park.

Around£2,000 has been pledged by an anonymous businessman, but they must find the remaining £9,000.

“There still money to find for this, and we’re trying to find little pockets of money,” she added.

“The last resort will be to raise the precept.”

During previous meetings, it was considered that the parish council could consider paying the cost off over a number of years, but would need to negotiate with Nottinghamshire County Council.