Introduction and background Information to the survey

* 1. Welcome to the Transition Town Berkhamsted (TTB) survey about the car park proposal for Lower Kings Road, and a possible 'Town Plan'. The survey has 8 questions, and only this first question contains significant material for you to read. The other questions are brief. We expect this to take around 10 minutes to complete.

Background Information

In 2012 there was a consultation within Berkhamsted on the idea of residents parking areas, for different parts of the town, and on the idea of ‘commuter (parking) ban’ areas. The consultation recommended that neither of these ideas was progressed.

Since that consultation completed, Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) have been investigating the idea of building a multi-storey car park (MSCP) somewhere in the town. A consultant has been looking at options for them. It is understood that the existing DBC owned public car park on Lower Kings Road (between Lower Kings Road and the Waitrose car park) is the favoured location for this MSCP, should it go ahead. It is not yet clear if the financial return for DBC would be sufficient to allow them to proceed with this, but they have said that if they do think it is financially viable, then they will approach the community and carry out a consultation on the idea. TTB understands that this would be a formal consultation on the MSCP itself, the detail of what it would look like, the access and egress, and so on. We do not expect this (DBC) consultation to ask whether residents support the idea in principle.

This survey is intended to gauge the opinion of those in the town on the overall concept. The reasons your opinions are sought are twofold.
• There is a concern within TTB that the case for an MSCP has not been made. There is no survey data that would allow a robust economic case to be established, and nor has a public demand for an MSCP been identified.
• Once an MSCP is constructed on this site, it will likely remain in place for at least 20 years. For that period the site will be unavailable for use as a public green space, a doctor's surgery, a new market square, a cinema or any other community asset that we might like to see. In other words, there is an opportunity cost to the proposal that will have to be paid.

TTB wish to understand if there is an appetite amongst residents to consider all the possibilities for this site, along the lines of the recent B-Hive consultation, and perhaps to create a ‘Town Plan’ for the centre of Berkhamsted. We also wish to know if you support the idea of an MSCP.

TTB ask if we can use your 'free text' responses in our summary of the outcome of this survey. Answering "Yes" or "No" here will not impact on the validity of your survey submission in any way.

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