No business case for car park

THE possibility of a new multi-tiered car park in Queanbeyan's CBD has been quashed following an investigation and cost analysis by Queanbeyan City Council.

Councillors Sue Whelan and Jamie Cregan called for council to investigate the construction of a multi-tiered car park in the CBD and report back with costings and time frames back in November, 2012.

Staff looked into the viability of constructing a two or three level parking station at existing car park sites on Crawford Street, Morisset St and Lowe St.

At the time, Cr Whelan told the Queanbeyan Age that parking resources in the upper Crawford Street shopping precinct had reached a crisis point following the opening of Kmart and the Australia Post Office.

Part of the problem was a loss of 62 required parking spaces in the precinct as Kmart, the GP Super Clinic and Australia Post had all provided less than the required amount of car space for their respective businesses. They made up the shortfall in Section 94 developer's contributions to council.

Since then, an additional nine on-street parking spaces have been created along Antill Street opposite the Australia Post Office.

However, further car parks could be lost in the city after consultants recommended removing about 50 car park spaces from Queen Elizabeth Park and Collett Street as part of the stage two CBD redevelopment plan.

Council staff said the construction of additional parking areas, such as a multi-level parking station, was not recommended at this time.

A multi-tiered car park was deemed not to be a viable option because of the significant costs associated with building it. Estimates ranged from $5.6 million up to $22.8 million.

"For a three-level car park of 700 spaces to be commercially viable, it would need to operate at 100 percent utilisation for at least 265 days per year with each space generating $20 per day," Mayor Tim Overall said at Wednesday's council meeting.

"This compares with Canberra public servants about to be hit with a $11 per day parking fee in the Parliamentary Triangle."

Another issue was the effect on the future land use of those three centrally-located sites which were described as being "of high economic value".

"[Construction] .... would severely restrict the future use of that site. It is very difficult to utilise the site for anything else once a parking station has been built," the report noted.

Cr Whelan said she was disappointed there hadn't been any investigations into non-council owned areas.

"I'm disappointed they only looked as existing car parks in the city. I would've liked to see some potential sites identified even if they were on the edge of the city. It might not be council-owned land but perhaps someone else would like to come in and operate it," she said.

"I think there's still a parking issue in this city ... we're doing some really good work to encourage people to come to Queanbeyan and shop in the CBD. However, our population is growing and we need to plan for that.

"I don't think this is the last we'll hear on this issue."

Council staff said that although residents might not find available parking immediately adjacent to their preferred destination, there was always parking within a reasonable walking distance. The report stated further work on the quantity of parking currently available in Queanbeyan is presently underway. This work will examine the availability of the parking at different times and will identify high areas of demand.

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