The unauthorised car park was shut-down but then it was reopened.

The temporary car park near the train station is an “unauthorised business” but Basingstoke & Deanne Borough Council are not going to take any enforcment action against the developer, says Stuart Crickett of the compliance and enforcement team in the planning development section of B&DBC.

The original sign was copied by a local artist.

Stuart wrote in an email to local residents today, “It is fully appreciated that this position will provide little comfort to you, as local residents, but the council can only enforce breaches of control within the remit afforded by planning legislation.”

The Railway Pub and its trees were demolished in March.

The developer of the site, Lochailort Investments Ltd, knocked down the Railway pub and felled the trees on the site back in March. They created a car park and started selling monthly and day passes on April 10, 2010. Their original planning application was opposed by 26 people (2 were in favour) but it was withdrawn by the developer shortly after B&DBC took enforcement action to shut the car park on 15 April.

The interior of the Railway Pub as it was being demolished.

Hugo Haig of Esher, Surrey at Lochailort Investments Ltd said in a letter dated 19 April 2010, “Socially, the provision of a car park in this location will reduce the quantum of drop-off and pick-ups from the station as it will be easier for commuters to park and therefore it will reduce the journeys to and from the station by 50% for this category of commuter. The reduced amount of journeys will have a benefit to those residents concerned about traffic generation and therefore in environmental terms, it is a sustainable proposal.”

Stuart also wrote, “I can however confirm that further contact will be made with the car park operator either today or tomorrow.  This contact will however only comprise of a firm recommendation/encouragement that the car park use be
ceased: until such time at the current planning application is determined.”

A new planning application was submitted and is likely to be decided by the B&DBC development management committee on 28 July 2010. None of the comments on the previous planning application were carried forward.

Cars park where patrons once sat.

There currently are 12 against and 3 in favour of the planning application, BDB/72549. The public are encoraged to add their comments using the online form HERE or by ringing the officer handling the application, Claire Cook on 01256 845444.

A video of the demolishing of the Railway Pub is on YouTube HERE. A local resident started a Facebook group called “Community Pubs not Carparks“.