Havering Council is reviewing consultation responses on proposals to sell off some public car parks, a spokesperson has said.

Plans were discussed in a February cabinet meeting to dispose of five sites that could potentially remove 827 parking spaces in the borough.

This includes the Como Street car park, Slaney Road car park and the Angel Way multi-storey car park in Romford, as well as the Keswick Avenue and Dorrington Gardens car parks in Hornchurch.

The spots were identified in the context of alternative parking options available nearby, such as the Cottons Park market place car park close to the Como Street car park.

Romford Recorder: The Como street car park is close to Romford MarketThe Como street car park is close to Romford Market (Image: Google Street)

The move, the council’s proposal said, is being considered to generate more receipts organically.

It is meant to reduce the council’s reliance on external borrowings for funding its capital investments in the coming years.

In December 2022, the council predicted a budget gap of more than £14m for this financial year.

Cabinet member for finance and transformation Cllr Chris Wilkins described the budget, presented in February this year, as one of the “most difficult in recent memory” due to increased costs and low government funding.

Romford Recorder: The Dorrington Gardens car park in Hornchurch The Dorrington Gardens car park in Hornchurch (Image: Google Street)

The car park disposal plans were subject to public notice and prior consultation as the sites are still being used.

The consultation has been carried out by the council. 

The replies received are being reviewed and will be included in a follow-up report that will be presented to cabinet in the summer, the council spokesperson said.

If the proposal is approved, the sites could be sold off to Mercury Land Holdings - a council-owned housing company.

The spokesperson added that the council has been “open and honest” about the impact of increased social care costs, rising inflation and lower Government grants.  

They revealed that the council has not made any final decisions on selling off the car parks yet and said: “When we do, we will make sure that residents and businesses are made aware of this and consulted as part of the planning process.”

Conservative councillor David Taylor told Essex Live if the plans go ahead, Romford could become less attractive and accessible for shoppers as some of the car parks on the list are in the town centre.