Published: 12:44, 21 December 2018
| Updated: 12:45, 21 December 2018
Construction of the controversial multi-storey car park in Station Road West will begin at the end of February next year.
Canterbury City Council has teamed up with construction and property services firm Willmott Dixon, who will build the £9.1 million car park.
The news comes after Southern Water confirmed its work to move a sewer under the site should be completed by the middle of February.
The vital diversion work will result in Station Road West being closed again for up to six weeks from Wednesday, January 2.
As well has receiving criticism over increased pollution fears and its appearance, the project plans have came under heavy scrutiny for not including any lifts for disabled people or parents with prams.
However, chief executive of the authority Colin Carmichael, has defended the design.
“The provision of passenger lifts is not a legal requirement nor a requirement under Building Regulations," he said.
“Indeed lifts can create more problems for users if they are not working or if people need to escape in the event of a fire.
“That is why it is usually better to make adequate provision for those with mobility problems on the ground floor.”
"We understand the concerns raised by people who do not have a blue badge but would prefer to park on the ground floor because they find stairs difficult to use.
“We propose to provide extra bays on the ground floor for parents with young children and for people with mobility problems that do not have a blue badge."
The city council says the consultation process on the divisive scheme included discussions with a Development Advisory Panel which comments on disability, accessibility and inclusion issues for authority services.
Work on preparing a legal contract has started but will not be signed before a meeting of full council in mid-January when there is the possibility of a petition being presented calling for the scheme to be abandoned.
Meanwhile, council officers are working with public transport providers to create a conceptual map showing how an integrated transport hub outside the station could work in the future.