The partial closure of a seaside town’s biggest car park will last until summer after it was revealed works to the site will take two months longer than expected.
Sections of Gorrell Tank in the centre of Whitstable will now be shut until June – eight weeks after owners Southern Water originally hoped to reopen the site.
The company has been forced into the decision to allow it to carry out improvement works on the tank underneath the car park, which has 245 spaces, to ensure it can help prevent flooding.
Project manager John Yates said: “We know the importance of the car parking on top of the Gorrell tank to businesses in the area and we’re sorry that some closure will be needed.
“The tank is there to attenuate flows and protect homes from flooding.
“Due to the age of the tank works are required to enable its continued use in flood prevention.”
A recent inspection of the site by Southern Water workers highlighted essential work is required.
It was closed fully on December 16 and 17 while a structural survey was carried out.
And in January, the whole car park will be closed from January 4 to January 8 in order to ensure the safety of engineers working on the site.
“For the rest of the works, we will only have half of the car park closed,” Mr Yates added.
“We hope to complete works by the summer and are in close liaison with Canterbury City Council and will keep them and businesses updated during these vital works.”
A spokesman for the city council says the authority is “pleased that the car park will be partially open for pretty much all of this work, early January aside”.