Part of Melton town centre car park could be sold off

Plans to maximise Melton Council’s assets could also now include selling off part of the Burton Street car park to commercial developers.

By Nick Rennie
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 1:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 1:21 pm
The Burton Street car park in Melton - the area at the far side (adjoining Burton Street) could be sold off by the council

This would affect the area which was occupied by the temporary coronavirus testing facility, which was recently removed with the easing of pandemic restrictions.

The proposal is part of the council’s Asset Development Programme (ADP), which aims to ensure key council sites are cost-effective.

The project focuses on Phoenix House, land at the livestock market, The Cove community centre and the council’s Parkside offices.

Phoenix House, on Nottingham Road, Melton Mowbray

Councillors discussed the ADP at the latest full council meeting, where Councillor Ronnie de Burle, cabinet member for finance and resources, told colleagues: “Maximising the value of assets is not allowing them to be a burden on the community and has to be a prime objective of a progressive council.”

A report at the meeting stated that ‘design and development options’ would be explored for part of the Burton Street car park.

Members were told that a comprehensive car parking needs assessment survey will be conducted in Melton town centre to assess what impact the loss of these spaces would have.

Phoenix House, which currently houses community, charitable and commercial tenants, is running at a loss.

Melton Borough Council offices, on Parkside, Melton Mowbray

The council agreed last year to consider redeveloping the Nottingham Road site and relocating organisations which are based there, including The Venue youth club.

Conversations are continuing with all the occupiers before any final decision is made.

Some of the tenants of Phoenix House could be offered a move to the council’s offices at Parkside.

The layout of the building is being redesigned to enable this to happen and options for other commercial uses of it are being explored to maximise income.

The council has already agreed to refurbish The Cove, on Sysonby Street, to help with the move there of all community-based services, including Me and My Learning.

A masterplan is being prepared for the southern part of the livestock market site to support events and create units for more food producers to move there.

Consultants have also been appointed to prepare design and costings for a detailed business case for future provision of leisure and health related facilities in the borough.

Following consultation, the business case for the preferred option is due to be submitted by the end of this year.

The ADP will support the future phases of development work.

The update on the assets programme was approved by the council, with 13 members in favour, but nine councillors did abstain.

Councillor Chris Evans was critical about the delay in the council identifying its assets and maximising their value.

And some members said more information should have been provided on the authority’s plans to appoint three new members of staff to help with the delivery of the asset programme.

Councillor Rob Bindloss, portfolio holder for growth and prosperity, said the new hires were essential because of a staff shortage and release senior managers for other duties.

But Councillors Don Pritchett and Leigh Higgins were unhappy that not enough information had been given on the new job descriptions and the value they would add for the council.