Some car parks in Havering are set to be sold off after cabinet members gave their backing to the plans.

A proposal to dispose of these “assets” was approved in a cabinet meeting held yesterday (August 9) after a debate on the plan’s implications for those using the parking spaces.

The car parks to be sold are Como Street and Angel Way multi-storey in Romford as well as Keswick Avenue and Dorrington Gardens in Hornchurch.

Other sites allocated for planning purposes with a view to being sold are land at Bedale Road/Tiverton Road in Harold Hill and Gays Field in Romford.

Romford Recorder: Angel Way multi-storey car park in RomfordAngel Way multi-storey car park in Romford (Image: Google Street)

The latter site, according to a council report, could be sold to Romford District Scouts after "tentative" discussions were held with them as they seek alternative premises.

Plans for the site disposals were first discussed during a cabinet meeting in February after which a public consultation was carried out by the council regards the car parks.

Councillor Graham Williamson, cabinet member for development and regeneration, told Wednesday's meeting that the council “must move ahead with the proposal” to raise “at least £10m this financial year as a minimum".

He added: “These disposals are extremely vital and important for the health of Havering Borough Council.”

The council, he said, is authorised to appropriate the land it owns if it felt no longer necessary to fulfil its existing use.

He revealed the outcome of the consultation - with the council saying only one objection was received to its car park withdrawal plans.

Romford Recorder: Cllr Graham WilliamsonCllr Graham Williamson (Image: Graham Williamson)

Cllr Williamson claimed that the loss of the car parks “would not be detrimental to local areas.”

Plans to sell a fifth car park at Slaney Road in Romford, he added, have been put on hold for the time being while the council carries out further appraisals to “retain a part of it”.

Councillor Keith Prince, Conservative group leader, questioned the effectiveness of the council’s consultation process.

He said: "We have a slight problem with the car parks, not necessarily about their disposal but we do believe that the consultation wasn’t really as rigorous and as widely spread as it could have been.”

Read More: Calls for more consultation on Havering car park sale plan

He referred to a petition started by fellow Tory councillor David Taylor pushing for another consultation on the matter that reportedly received 550 signatures.

In response the officer who oversaw the consultation process explained that the council had put a legal notice in the Recorder and also displayed notices at the sites welcoming users to share their views.

He said a week-long survey of the sites was carried out to monitor their usage.

Como Road car park, for example, was found to have only 19 per cent occupancy on weekdays and weekends, and the one in Keswick Avenue was at 50pc.

Angel Way and Dorrington Gardens car parks too were seen to have low levels of usage, the meeting heard.

Cllr Prince however argued that these notices only said that the car parks will be brought out of use and did not specifically suggest they will be disposed of.

If that had been the case, he believed people would have responded. 

He also raised the issue of disabled parking bays and said the report did not have separate figures for their usage to suggest the plan's impact on disabled people.

He argued that for disabled parking, “you would want to be as close to the services you want to use as possible”.

Council leader Ray Morgon told the meeting that there were other car parks in Hornchurch where there are disabled parking bays.

Cllr Morgon said that, during a recent Saturday visit to Hornchurch, he saw one car park "half empty".

“We do have a surplus of spaces and it is about making the best use of our assets," he said. "We have done some analysis to make a right decision.”

Councillor Martin Goode, of East Havering Residents' Group, felt the council must consider the implications for businesses regards footfall if parking spaces are taken away.

A council officer, however, said that they do not envisage a situation where people will not come to the town centre because they canmot park given the amount of alternatives available in close proximity.