WORK on Huntingdon’s £3.5million multi-storey car park is expected to start in the spring, following Monday’s planning decision to give the four-tier structure the go-ahead.

But members of the district council’s development management panel added additional conditions to the consent to protect local residents.

The building will provide more than 400 spaces, and the project also includes re-configuration of the northern part of the existing Sainsbury’s car park and a private car park owned by developer Churchmanor Estates, as well as provision of a new traffic-light-controlled exit to the ring road at Nursery Road.

Because the new facility will take up some existing spaces, the net gain to Huntingdon town centre will be 313 short-stay spaces.

Once the new exit is built, the current exit road will be restricted to fuel tankers delivering to the filling station.

There had been 14 letters of opposition from people living in nine properties in nearby Hartford Road and Nursery Road, who raised a variety of objections, mainly relating to the height of the proposed structure and its siting so close to the ring road.

Huntingdon Town Council was against the scheme, but it has the backing of Huntingdon Town Partnership.

To make life more bearable for neighbours, the panel imposed a condition restricting the hours of use to prevent late-night nuisance, though the opening hours were not specified. They also required the ramps to be constructed with a non-squeal surface and ordered that the district council, whose scheme it is, should take reasonable security measures to satisfy a police concern.

Project manager Chris Allen told The Hunts Post after the decision that construction work would take around 12 months. The project would be let as two design-and-construct contracts, first for the highway work, then a specialist construction contract for the car park