RESIDENTS have told civic chiefs that the current plans for a new car park in Alresford does not go far enough.

At a cabinet meeting held at the ARC in Alresford last Wednesday, city councillors backed plans for a new 47-space car park at The Dean to cost around £1 million.

However, residents say the scheme, although welcome would not elevate Alresford's growing parking problem.

Leader of Alresford town council, Margot Power said that although the extra spaces was welcomed, it was not the additional 100 that residents were hoping for, and wanted assurances that the spaces would remain public pay and display space and would not end up getting used by near by homes or businesses.

"More needs to be done especially as parking at Perins School and Alresford train station are risk," alluding to the short-term leases on both sites.

"It's not just about pay and display. We have to look at all of the parking in Alresford as well as the people who use it."

The sentiments were echoed by the chair of Alresford chamber of commerce Fiona Isaacs who said that the town needed 80 additional spaces,

"This problem effects the retail viability of Alresford," she said. "People doing pay and display are happy to linger but we also need to maintain free parking as it is of vital importance to the businesses in the town.

"The reduction in bus services has also had a knock on effect because people working in Alresford who can not get a bus are now are driving to work and using up parking spaces."

New Alresford town councillor Irene Spencer said she wanted the car park to be the beginning of an improved car parking ratio in town, and not the "end game".

City councillor Jackie Porter said that along with the car park, the council needed to better support bus services in the area, and that traffic and road access to The Dean needed to be sorted out as part of the initial scheme and not just wait for the problem to arise later.

"Elderly residents have already told me they find it difficult to cross the road at Jenkins Lane and The Dean, they call it a roulette wheel."

In response to residents concerns city councillor Jan Warwick suggested that the council should seek to create a parking strategy for Alresford.

Council leader Caroline Horrill responded to residents concerns by assuring that the council would ensure that all spaces would remain pay and display only and that no business in the development would have to rely on the car park, but said that the problem of additional parking in Alresford was tied to the availability of suitable land.

The scheme which will cost over £1 million, will be funded using developer contributions, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and funds previously allocated from the Strategic Asset Purchase budget and form part of a larger mixed use development at the site.