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Plans to park on Westmeads recreation ground in Whitstable set to be decided by Canterbury City Council tonight

A hundred parking spaces could be made available at Westmeads park for weekends only, it emerged last night.

The measure was revealed at a meeting at St Alphege school 24 hours before the council's executive will rule whether to allow parking on the field.

The council says the Westmeads ground is the best option to make up a shortfall in parking caused by the Gorrell Tank closure in April.

The meeting was held at St Alphege School

The meeting was held at St Alphege School

About 50 people attended the meeting after councillors Peter Vickery-Jones and Andrew Cook opted for clear-the-air talks after anger at the recommendation.

They said they had tried to strike the closest balance to meet the needs of both residents and businesses when settling on a final proposal.

Cllr Cook also told audience members a park and ride will operate from Estuary View business park every weekend until Sunday, September 7.

Cllr Vickery-Jones said: "We called this meeting to clear the air and make sure everyone knows what solutions are needed."

Residents held a demonstration against cars on the field

Residents held a demonstration against cars on the field

The meeting revealed the council has received an offer from Whitstable Junior School to use the school's astroturf as a car park if it will fund £30,000 resurfacing works.

It also emerged three businesses in Whitstable Harbour Village had stopped trading to become the first casualties of the Gorrell Tank closure.

Councillors also stated any decision taken this year is likely to be repeated next year with long-term repairs to fix corroding pillars underneath the pay and display.

The 245-space car park was closed in April for safety reasons

The 245-space car park was closed in April for safety reasons

 

Speakers also warned of a division between residents and traders over the parking plans with calls for the community to pull together.

Copperfields owner Kim Foster said: "The parking issue is a community one not just for traders or residents it will never be ideal for any party we have to support each other and not divide ourselves."

The final decision will be taken at tonight's executive. The meeting takes place at the Guildhall in Canterbury at 6.30pm.

 

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