Haberdasher Adams Grammar School headteacher Gary Hickey has asked Newport Town Council to contribute up to £70,000 to build a 48-space parking area, and says this will keep his students’ cars off nearby New Street and Beaumaris Road.
If built, the car park would be available for the general public to use outside of school hours.
Councillors voted unanimously to pursue the suggestion and continue negotiating with the 900-student academy, and Mayor Peter Scott said it was potentially a great opportunity to sort out the town’s parking problems, but recommended “going in with our eyes wide open”.
A report in the members’ agenda said: “The parking strategy group has been meeting to look at various solutions to help with parking in the town. It is accepted that there are few, if any, areas where new car parks can be sited within the town centre area.
“There have been ongoing discussions with Mr Hickey for this council to grant £70,000 for an area within the school grounds where a new car park can be developed.
“It would be for the school use during term time and public use out of term time and in the evenings.”
Cllr Scott said: “We felt this was something we should consider.”
Councillor Bill Harper asked: “Whose responsibility would it be to maintain it?
“Because that £70,000 could be just the start of a big bill. I don’t want us to receive, in a few years, a bill for £100,000 because it’s subsiding, say.”
Cllr Scott said ongoing responsibility for the car park is “something we will need to iron out”.
Councillor Tim Nelson pointed out that the figure of £70,000 was suggested at an earlier stage when the planned car park included more spaces than the 48 currently suggested, so it could be an overestimate.
Members unanimously agreed to pursue the suggestion and continue negotiating.
Cllr Scott said: “We go into this with our eyes wide open. We don’t sign up to anything that is going to be detrimental.
“We can go back to the school and say there is a general agreement that we want to do this, but what about this, this, this and this.
“It has got to be thought-out.”