A derelict piece of common land in Godmanchester is set to be turned into a car park to offset spaces lost as a result of a housing scheme.

The common sits adjacent to the existing Bridge Place car park. Picture: ARCHANTThe common sits adjacent to the existing Bridge Place car park. Picture: ARCHANT

Much of Huntingdonshire District Council's Bridge Place car park will be lost when the site, near the bridge to Huntingdon, is redeveloped with around 90 new homes.

The land, involving local firm RGE Engineering's site, has been scheduled for housing by the council and the authority's development management panel has given the go-ahead for it to the change of use of the common.

A total of 103 spaces, including two for disabled drivers and 10 motorcycle spaces, will be built on the piece of land which is adjacent to the existing car park, under the A14 and next to the river.

It is close to the historic Cook's Bridge and has not been used as a common for many years after it was cut off from the main section of land. It was used as a building site yard in recent years while a major construction scheme was taking place.

Godmanchester Town Council has welcomed the move, saying it would improve a derelict piece of land but it wanted assurances that electricity charging points would be retained, along with recycling bins.

Police have checked the site out with the Counter Terrorism Team which has "no major concerns".

If the housing development takes place as planned, it would reduce the number of spaces from the existing 257 to the 103 proposed, a cut of 154 spaces.

A report to the committee said that although the position of the Bridge Place car park meant it served both Huntingdon and Godmanchester, it was not considered to be part of the network covering Huntingdon town centre.

A recent survey showed annual ticket sales of just under 12,000 - equivalent to 46 sales per space. The occupancy rate was typically less than 25 per cent during weekdays and five per cent at weekends, much lower than at other town centre car parks, with nearly a third of drivers staying for less than 10 minutes.

The bulk of the site was earmarked for housing under the council's plan for development up to 2036.

One of the conditions applied by the committee involved the piece of land being de-registered as common.

Cambridgeshire County Council's rights of way team wanted a condition requiring the Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to give consent for any development takes place and for land to be offered as common to replace the missing piece.