Residents in Sutton on Sea have criticised the council’s £500,000 plans to tarmac a village car park, saying there are more pressing issues.
East Lindsey District Council’s Executive Board on Wednesday will be asked to approve the cash to install hard surfacing and vehicle bay lining at Broadway Car Park, which is currently unsurfaced.
The council expects a tourism surge once works to replace the Sutton on Sea Colonnade with a new build are completed, and combined with improvements taking place elsewhere in the district – including the new Coastal Pathway which links the observatory to Huttoft Boat Shed and other locations along the beachfront.
It is hoped the Broadway works will create an extra 30 spaces – from 120-150 – and will bring in around £60,000 a year extra revenue to the council.
However, residents believe it is the wrong time to work on the car park.
They suggested other things needed doing first, including increased CCTV coverage, road repairs and street lighting.
Some of these – such as highways works – are carried out by Lincolnshire County Council, however, not East Lindsey District Council.
Melanie Jones commented: “It is OK as it is. Sort out that Colonnade first and the arson on the beach huts and vandalism and antisocial behaviour of groups of younger people.”
Meanwhile, Jill Jeffs said: “Typical waste money on resurfacing a car park when all the roads are full of pot holes. When will the council get their priorities right?”
Shaz Ilkeston added: “What about putting LED bulbs in the lamp posts first so we can have the street lights on after midnight – it’s frightening when it’s pitch black.”
Former Town Councillor Stephen Palmer has written to ELDC leaders asking them to rethink the plans.
He carried out a straw poll of residents over the weekend.
“People… split roughly into two camps, those who thought tarmac would be a good idea and those who want it left as grass.
“Interestingly though, those who were pro tarmac baulked at the amount of money and only wanted it because of lack of maintenance and care of the grass and access road.
“The ‘keep it’ grass camp also thought it was a waste of taxpayer money and surely a better use of such money could be found.”
He added there had been some climate concerns around the loss of greenery.
Stephen Palmer questioned the accuracy of the council’s estimates and suggested the authority wait until the colonnade had been open for its first full season (around 2024) before it makes a decision.
“I hope you will take my points on board… and come to the sensible conclusion that more thought needs to be taken before committing £500k of tax payer money in times that some of our citizens are finding very stressful,” he said.
Not all disagreed with the plans, however, with Matt Lease writing: “Seems like a positive idea and plan to make Sutton more inviting to tourists.
“It’s been crying out to be properly marked for years and extra income will help the council.”
East Lindsey District Council has been contacted for a comment but had not responded at the time of publication.
According to one.network, there are no plans to resurface or repair Broadway in the next 12 months.
A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council confirmed that it was “not in line for any works in the immediate future”.