Parish council ‘concerned’ by car park charges

Gatley's Country Store and Pet Shop, in Lower Street, closed for the final time on Saturday

Pulborough Parish Council has said it is ‘concerned’ by the impact of car park charges following the latest closure of a village shop.

On Saturday (October 28) Gatley’s Country Store and Pet Shop, in Lower Street, closed for the final time.

Owner Robin Duke said he was ‘left with no other option but to close’ after Horsham District Council imposed car park charges in the village.

He said the charges had left Pulborough ‘to vanish’ as shops battled against increased high street rates to continue drawing in customers.

Gatley’s follows banks Barclays and Natwest out of Pulborough after they closed earlier this year.

The village post office, which used to be inside Gatley’s, is now attached to S&M Tyres Limited, in London Road.

Pulborough Parish Council said shops closing in the area ‘is very regrettable’.

In a statement, the council added: “Pulborough Parish Council is certainly concerned about any impact that the car park charges introduced by Horsham District Council may be having on local businesses/traders, combined with vehicles parking beyond the legitimate one hour in high street lay-bys.

“Any shops or services closing in the area is very regrettable and not likely to improve the local economy or vibrancy of the area.

“Although we can’t comment about individual businesses and their arrangements or reasons for closure, the parish council had already previously agreed to review the matter of the new charges and has been collating any comments received about the new parking scheme over the last few months.

“The matter was considered by full council meeting on October 19, when members looked at data received and decided that we would approach the district council to raise continued concerns about the detrimental effect on Lower Street businesses and request that they reconsider the scheme and give Pulborough special dispensation by introducing at least a one hour free parking phase to the Lower Street car park.”

Horsham District Council has been approached for comment.

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