Issues at council-owned car park “destroying” trade in Stansted Mountfitchet, say business people

Residents and business people say the construction of Stansted health centre next to Lower Street ca

Residents and business people say the construction of Stansted health centre next to Lower Street car park has adversely impacted trade in the area. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of business people have issued a stark warning to Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to stop “destroying” a village’s attempt to promote commerce and trade.

The message comes in a letter written on behalf of Stansted Business Forum (SBF) and residents of Stansted Mountfitchet criticising the running of the district council’s Lower Street car park, which critics say is squeezing out shoppers and adversely impacting trade.

Written by entrepreneur and Stansted Mountfitchet castle owner Alan Goldsmith, and accompanied by an 800-strong petition, the letter also expresses concern that nearby building work which has started on a new health centre, along with retail and residential units, is jeopardising spaces for shoppers – despite assurances from UDC that no spaces have been lost.

“It is the district council’s responsibility to help and promote commerce and trade in the area and not to destroy it,” the letter reads.

“The car park is an essential part of village life and not for railway commuters (who have their own Stansted railway station car parking facilities and a number are driving in from some distance outside the area).

“Trade is now being significantly impacted due to the situation that now prevails. We would like to know what the council intend to do about this?”

A spokesman for UDC said the 109 spaces at the car park are intact despite building work, and that no more spaces than the existing 48 have been allocated to season ticket holders.

Most Read

“The adjacent Castle Lotus site is currently being redeveloped for a medical centre, retail and residential,” he said. “As part of these works part of the car park is being used as a compound.

“Before the builders’ compound was created additional car parking spaces were provided towards the end of the car park, this ensures that there is no reduction in the number of spaces available for use.

“At the end of the build the car park will be re-laid out providing an increased capacity of parking.”

The SBF letter finishes with a call for a meeting with UDC to resolve the problem.