Hundreds of low-cost and free parking spaces in Sleaford

Money's Yard car park in Sleaford with Money's Mill
Money's Yard car park in Sleaford with Money's Mill

With three of Sleaford’s central car parks currently closed or set to be withdrawn shortly, residents and visitors are advised that there are still hundreds of low-cost and free off-street parking spaces available nearby.

A privately-owned and operated temporary car park on Southgate has now closed by order of a planning inspector that it should no longer be used for parking; an unscheduled temporary suspension of parking at Westgate is ongoing, pending repairs or demolition to an unstable privately-owned building; and parking will end at the Market Place from July 19.

In advance of July 19, there will be localised short-term work at Church Lane and Money’s Yard to increase the number of disabled parking bays there. Together with the new specified provision being included in the Market Place scheme, this will create up to ten more dedicated blue-badge spaces centrally in NKDC-operated car parks.  

Across the seven other council-operated car parks, there remain almost 500 places available; 33 of them currently designated as disabled bays. At weekends this increases to 650 when the Lafford Terrace spaces become available – for free. Additionally a further 550 spaces are provided privately at Jermyn Street and at the two supermarkets for their customers. 

The privately-owned Southgate site was permitted as a temporary car park from 2009 after an economic downturn stalled the developer’s approved scheme for shops, housing and offices. The position was reviewed periodically and in 2017 the owner was advised that due to changes in policy and strategic expectations, it was likely that this would not be renewed. Consent for continued use was refused in 2019, and again in 2021, which ended with a planning inspector saying car parking had to cease by June 8, 2024; with all parking bay markings, pay machines and signage removed. There is though no requirement to prevent pedestrian access or to block the footbridge. Those actions are at the owners’ discretion. Additionally the Council has never insisted that there must be public liability insurance in place, which is a matter for the landowner. 

Car parking charges in Sleaford remain low, at 70p for an hour in most council-run car parks – or free for the first hour at the town council’s Eastgate Car Park – and as little as 50p for two hours, £1 for four and £2 for longer at Grantham Road. Evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday parking is free in all car parks. 

David Steels, North Kesteven District Council’s Assistant Director of Environment & Public Protection, said: “We recognise and acknowledge the inconvenience that having these three central carparks simultaneously withdrawn causes to residents, shoppers and residents to the town. But with hundreds of additional spaces located throughout the town, Sleaford remains well-served with both regular and dedicated blue-badge provision. 

“The unscheduled closure of Westgate cannot be helped but we are all working hard to resolve, as swiftly as possible, the issues that restrict access currently. Southgate was never designated for parking, but permitted temporary use that a planning inspector agrees is no longer appropriate. 

“The removal of car parking, in the main, from the Market Place supports long-held, shared aspirations to reconfigure the space as a more successful public square where pedestrians and market customers are no longer in conflict with moving vehicles and where markets and events, like this week’s D-Day commemorations, can take place more readily.”

The cumulative effect is a loss of 117 spaces, 16% of the 715 off-street public parking spaces that have been available on weekdays to date. When Westgate is returned to use, the impact of the two closures will be a 12% reduction in availability.  

Information relating to the locations and tariffs of the council car parks in Sleaford can be found at: 

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