Fears proposals are a ‘double whammy’ for town centre

Proposed new parking charges and the possibility of a new supermarket are a ‘double whammy’ for Louth, say a group.

Keep Louth Special say the town may be ‘put in jeopardy’.

A £25,000 retail study commissioned by East Lindsey District Council says a large retail development is necessary for Louth to thrive.

Meanwhile, the district council has proposed a ‘fairer’ car parking service which could see free car parks like the Cattle Market become pay and display. The council will consider the recommendations in January.

Coun Tony Bridges, ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, has said: “Car parking charges haven’t increased in East Lindsey since 2008, and I am confident at the new prices, the charges still remain reasonable and competitive with other towns.”

Alan Mumby, Chairman of Keep Louth Special, said: “Just when the town was feeling pretty good about itself - voted Britain’s Favourite Market Town and an In Bloom Silver Gilt Award, East Lindsey District Council delivers a double whammy, in the shape of the new car-parking policy and the Nathaniel Lichfield Retail Report.

“It seems to us that ELDC doesn’t have an actual car-parking strategy. Little wonder that Louth traders are up in arms. They talk of a level playing field, but market towns cannot be compared with seaside resorts. And there seems to be a total lack of imagination - how about making one of Louth’s market days free parking, and then assessing the impact on retail spend?

“And spare a thought for the people who will be hit most hard by the increases: part-time (often low-paid) workers who drive into Louth to work.

“Keep Louth Special has been campaigning for years against a large supermarket being built on the Cattle Market site, so it will come as no surprise to anyone that we challenge the findings of the Nathaniel Lichfield Retail Report.

“Our worry is that the future of our lovely market town may be put in jeopardy by the new parking policy and the recommendations of this report. We can only hope that all those who share our view will make their voices heard.”