How Local Authorities Can Release Value and Make Flexible Use of Land Assets
Who knows what the future holds for local authority funding. It’s generally accepted that councils have been underfunded since 2010. Now, Covid-19 has led to government spending (and borrowing) on a massive scale to support individuals and businesses. The age of austerity could be blending into a new age of uncertainty.
Adaptability and maximising the use of assets will be critical tools in the survival kit for local authorities. And when it comes to assets with under-recognised value, the cupboard might not be as bare as many assume.
Car Parks and Land Assets
Development land is a precious commodity, particularly in town and city centres. So it’s interesting to note how much land, including assets owned by councils, is given over to surface level car parks. 85% of car parking in the UK is surface level only.
Why did nobody ever add an additional parking deck to some of that land? This would reduce the land footprint needed for parking and release valuable land for housing or commercial development. Or imagine what potential an extra parking deck would offer to expand parking capacity and boost revenues.
The main reasons seem to be not seeing the opportunity, perceived complexity, and possibly lack of development funding. There are relatively straightforward answers to all of these.
- Adding one or two additional parking decks is simple with the Osborne-Siderpark modular car parking solution. It uses a quickly-erected steel frame and needs no foundations.
- The solution includes design, planning, erection, operation and finance (if needed) to eliminate complexity and reduce investment needs. The time and expertise needed from landowners is minimal.
The other big area of uncertainty is the future of work and travel. Will home working become the norm, or will things drift back to how they were when the threat of Covid-19 recedes? Will more people eventually swap four wheels for two and cycle to work?
It’s hard to know, but experience shows that habits are often slow to change. Whatever happens, the modular car park can remain in place for as long as it’s needed. When you no longer need the extra capacity the structure can be quickly dismantled and used elsewhere. And by that time you will already have gained the benefit of increased parking revenue or the value released from your land assets.
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