Kelham Gardens land: Wiltshire Council will negotiate over its use as a car park - at what price?
At a meeting of Wiltshire Council's cabinet (Tuesday morning, April 24) re-considered their plan to sell the piece of land they own inKelham Gardens. Due to contamination and its shape, the land is almost certainly unsuitable for housing and the cabinet were in favour of negotiating with Marlborough Town Council over its future ownership and use.
Neighbouring householders in Kelham Gardens had been keen to buy the land - but were no longer interested.
Town Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall explained the town's need for more parking and spoke in favour of the land being used for a residents' car park. He said this could be done either by an asset transfer to the Town Council who would turn the land into a car park, or by Wiltshire Council themselves.
Councillor Loosmore 'fully supported' the Mayor's case and stressed this would not solve the town's lack of parking but it would be "...a good start. It would go down well in the town. It's about making a difference - land like this does not come up often."
Wiltshire Councillor Toby Sturgis, who is responsible for the disposal of assets the Council no longer need, said they would still have to aim at 'best value' for the land as they are legally required to do. But 'other economic and social benefit' could be considered too. The Council was willing to negotiate with Marlborough Council.
Local Wiltshire Councillor Jane Davies tried to get the cabinet to pass 'an expression of support from cabinet that this land will be used for parking': "This is a very important matter for Marlborough." She was told that was not something this meeting could do.
Councillor Philip Whitehead, who is responsible for Wiltshire Coiuncil's finances, was 'more than happy' to negotiate with Marlborough, but he reiterated the 'best value' requirement and said the land "...won't be transferred at nil value".