Lakeside's leisure plans a step closer - but could parking charges be introduced at new-look centre?

Thurrock Gazette: Artist's impression: exciting leisure proposal for Lakeside shopping centre Artist's impression: exciting leisure proposal for Lakeside shopping centre

SHOPPERS could be charged to park at Lakeside in a bid to quash recurring traffic problems around the shopping centre.

The shock announcement came as £100million proposals - to include new bars, restaurants, a hotel and a bowling alley built around a town square, covered street and waterfront space - moved a step closer after getting the backing of Thurrock Council’s planning committee.

At the meeting, councillors discussed whether parking charges could be brought in to encourage shoppers to get the train or bus in - therefore leaving their cars at home.

It has been free to park at Lakeside since it opened in 1991 and shoppers reacted angrily to the idea, with many saying they would not use the centre at all if charges were introduced.

Paul Lancaster, regional centre director for intu, the firm that own Lakeside, said: “We would rather not charge for parking, but instead encourage people to use public transport in the first instance.”

Lakeside is also proposing to install electronic traffic update signs at roundabouts around centre.

Mr Lancaster told the meeting people coming to the centre by bus was up 20 per cent - and by train up 10 per cent since it began working more closely with transport providers Ensignbus and C2C.

This issue will be cleared up in April, when more detailed proposals are submitted to the council.

John Kent, leader of the council, said: “This development will play a significant part in delivering our vision and the Town Square will provide a major new focal point for the whole of the Lakeside Basin.”

Lakeside shopping centre already employs more than 6,000 people and plans for a more extensive leisure offering will create a further 1,000 jobs - and 660 construction jobs.

Mr Lancaster added: “We’re very pleased with this step forward, and we look forward to being in a position to share more details on the project shortly.”

Tory Chafford Hundred councillor Tunder Ojetola told the meeting: “I hope people no longer say they are going to Bas Vegas but that they are going to Bas Lakeside.”

Comments (17)

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12:12pm Wed 22 Jan 14

coddy says...

Can there be a less corrupt planning committee than Thurrock council's. Everything that goes by them gets the OK. But if there are going to be charges to park at Lakeside no one will go.
Can there be a less corrupt planning committee than Thurrock council's. Everything that goes by them gets the OK. But if there are going to be charges to park at Lakeside no one will go. coddy
  • Score: 10

12:23pm Wed 22 Jan 14

d_2da_ougle says...

i-dont-think-i-would
-be-thrilled-to-pay-
to-park-at-lakeside-
and-what-are-they-on
-about-the-problems-
with-traffic-have-no
thing-to-do-with-lak
eside-its-that-fucki
n-bridge-thats-the-i
ssue
i-dont-think-i-would -be-thrilled-to-pay- to-park-at-lakeside- and-what-are-they-on -about-the-problems- with-traffic-have-no thing-to-do-with-lak eside-its-that-fucki n-bridge-thats-the-i ssue d_2da_ougle
  • Score: 10

12:37pm Wed 22 Jan 14

C.E.R. says...

When Intu took over Lakeside, I wondered how long it would be until we were charged to park as other Intu shopping centres do.
I agree with d_2da_ougle time and energy should be taken up stopping the toll charges on the QE2 bridge.
I know I read a while ago that parking would never be charged at Lakeside.
However, if charges are made, why not target people that park and go to work as they take up spaces all day, often for 10 hours at a time,
So if charging is a must why not have a long stay payable car park in the outside car parks.
When Intu took over Lakeside, I wondered how long it would be until we were charged to park as other Intu shopping centres do. I agree with d_2da_ougle time and energy should be taken up stopping the toll charges on the QE2 bridge. I know I read a while ago that parking would never be charged at Lakeside. However, if charges are made, why not target people that park and go to work as they take up spaces all day, often for 10 hours at a time, So if charging is a must why not have a long stay payable car park in the outside car parks. C.E.R.
  • Score: -2

12:53pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Mattster says...

There wont be parking Charges, its just smoke and mirrors to get the plans through with reduced spaces.
There wont be parking Charges, its just smoke and mirrors to get the plans through with reduced spaces. Mattster
  • Score: 6

1:28pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Make Thurrock Better says...

Lakeside is not near a city center or other attraction. Many people like myself will travel to Lakeside for the convenience of the free parking. For instance if I need something from Boots I don't go to Grays where it costs to park I go to Lakeside. So if you're going to charge for parking you will loose the people who visit the center little and often.
Lakeside is not near a city center or other attraction. Many people like myself will travel to Lakeside for the convenience of the free parking. For instance if I need something from Boots I don't go to Grays where it costs to park I go to Lakeside. So if you're going to charge for parking you will loose the people who visit the center little and often. Make Thurrock Better
  • Score: 15

1:35pm Wed 22 Jan 14

blondiegirl says...

i park and go to work, but also shop at lakeside when i come back from work. if they start charging, I may as well pay to park in Grays and not have the worry of traffic problems caused by the bridge! INTU will lose revenue from the commuters (who generally only park in one part of the complex). I fail to see how parking from commuters affects the availability of spaces to such a degree as suggested earlier. Will Marks and Spencer and the other major stores have much to say when the commuters park elsewhere? its convenient for me to purchase groceries from M&S when I return from work instead of driving to another supermarket.
i park and go to work, but also shop at lakeside when i come back from work. if they start charging, I may as well pay to park in Grays and not have the worry of traffic problems caused by the bridge! INTU will lose revenue from the commuters (who generally only park in one part of the complex). I fail to see how parking from commuters affects the availability of spaces to such a degree as suggested earlier. Will Marks and Spencer and the other major stores have much to say when the commuters park elsewhere? its convenient for me to purchase groceries from M&S when I return from work instead of driving to another supermarket. blondiegirl
  • Score: 12

2:00pm Wed 22 Jan 14

knightmare14 says...

Yeah really smart! draw new punters in with one hand and force them away with the other! You couldn't make it up.
Yeah really smart! draw new punters in with one hand and force them away with the other! You couldn't make it up. knightmare14
  • Score: 8

2:02pm Wed 22 Jan 14

blondiegirl says...

AAA
AAA blondiegirl
  • Score: -2

2:14pm Wed 22 Jan 14

blondiegirl says...

I would agree that commuters do park at lakeside for in excess of 10 hours ( C.E.R comment ) but you have not thought your statement through, those very same commuters spend thousands of pound a year in the shops of lakeside and having spoken to several just now they would now choose to spend elsewhere. What would be left then just the benefit brigade who get out of bed at 11am and then go there to keep warm whilst spending no cash but carry out some shoplifiting. Bluewater and Bas Vegas will become a much more viable option to spend my money like many others. INTU DO YOUR CALCULATIONS
I would agree that commuters do park at lakeside for in excess of 10 hours ( C.E.R comment ) but you have not thought your statement through, those very same commuters spend thousands of pound a year in the shops of lakeside and having spoken to several just now they would now choose to spend elsewhere. What would be left then just the benefit brigade who get out of bed at 11am and then go there to keep warm whilst spending no cash but carry out some shoplifiting. Bluewater and Bas Vegas will become a much more viable option to spend my money like many others. INTU DO YOUR CALCULATIONS blondiegirl
  • Score: 9

2:42pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Mick P says...

Charging to make some shoppers use public transport????? Are the buses and trains going to be free then .........idiots !
Charging to make some shoppers use public transport????? Are the buses and trains going to be free then .........idiots ! Mick P
  • Score: 12

3:10pm Wed 22 Jan 14

I_am_Rob says...

I think some of you are missing the point, it’s not intu that have suggested parking it’s the bloody councillors. The whole situation with regards to Lakeside is the extremely poor planning of the roads, and correctly noted when there are issues with regards to the bridge the whole area locks up.
I think some of you are missing the point, it’s not intu that have suggested parking it’s the bloody councillors. The whole situation with regards to Lakeside is the extremely poor planning of the roads, and correctly noted when there are issues with regards to the bridge the whole area locks up. I_am_Rob
  • Score: 9

3:11pm Wed 22 Jan 14

OckendonPaul says...

This proposal might finally breath some life back into Grays and our other town centres, as free parking is one of lakesides advantages. Go intu!
Plus I think our African councillor is failing to get the joke - why would anybody call it Bas Lakeside??
This proposal might finally breath some life back into Grays and our other town centres, as free parking is one of lakesides advantages. Go intu! Plus I think our African councillor is failing to get the joke - why would anybody call it Bas Lakeside?? OckendonPaul
  • Score: 7

4:23pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Marcus P says...

The last time I was in Lakeside I was suprised by the number of empty retail units available.

Maybe the shopping mall craze is in decline?
The last time I was in Lakeside I was suprised by the number of empty retail units available. Maybe the shopping mall craze is in decline? Marcus P
  • Score: 5

5:21pm Fri 24 Jan 14

boysenberry says...

Usual TBC Joined up thinking
•12/4/12 re Grays
Council chief executive Graham Farrant said: “We believe this town centre has got real potential, but unless someting is done quickly to replan it and get working with businesses for the long-term future, we worry that it will actually decline in the shadow of Lakeside and the shopping centre will no longer be as vibrant as it has been in the past.”
• 7/8/12
LAKESIDE Shopping Centre has got the go-ahead for its £180million expansion.
The centre will be extended to add up to 40 shops, restaurants, and cafes after Thurrock Council’s planning committee gave the application the green light.
• John Kent 21/9/12, re Dartford Crossing Tolls:
"I think the increase is entirely unjustifiable.
"I understand the government is short of cash, but so are local businesses and so are hard-working families."
• TBC planning 221/14, 16 months later, re Outov Lakeside charges
At the meeting, councillors discussed whether parking charges could be brought in to encourage shoppers to get the train or bus in - therefore leaving their cars at home.

Who will gain these parking charges. Local government - TBC? Nope
National Goverment? Nope
Outov Lakeside? Yes! Will help pay for further expansion into a town to create more congestion around a site where the council's policy around the Dartford Crossing is to minimize congestion - free up extra capacity on the crossing.
Just wait, whats the betting that in late 2014 a long term TBC planning sub-committee will announce plans for a new Council HQ to be built at Intu Lakeside, with 6 decks of free parking underneath.
Usual TBC Joined up thinking •12/4/12 re Grays Council chief executive Graham Farrant said: “We believe this town centre has got real potential, but unless someting is done quickly to replan it and get working with businesses for the long-term future, we worry that it will actually decline in the shadow of Lakeside and the shopping centre will no longer be as vibrant as it has been in the past.” • 7/8/12 LAKESIDE Shopping Centre has got the go-ahead for its £180million expansion. The centre will be extended to add up to 40 shops, restaurants, and cafes after Thurrock Council’s planning committee gave the application the green light. • John Kent 21/9/12, re Dartford Crossing Tolls: "I think the increase is entirely unjustifiable. "I understand the government is short of cash, but so are local businesses and so are hard-working families." • TBC planning 221/14, 16 months later, re Outov Lakeside charges At the meeting, councillors discussed whether parking charges could be brought in to encourage shoppers to get the train or bus in - therefore leaving their cars at home. Who will gain these parking charges. Local government - TBC? Nope National Goverment? Nope Outov Lakeside? Yes! Will help pay for further expansion into a town to create more congestion around a site where the council's policy around the Dartford Crossing is to minimize congestion - free up extra capacity on the crossing. Just wait, whats the betting that in late 2014 a long term TBC planning sub-committee will announce plans for a new Council HQ to be built at Intu Lakeside, with 6 decks of free parking underneath. boysenberry
  • Score: 1

2:42pm Sat 25 Jan 14

purse says...

Why extend the centre when the existing one ALWAYS has empty units. Charging customers to park is not the answer. Building another access road to the centre would be the best thing & try & direct the traffic away from Chafford Hundred. I'm a CHafford resident & it can take me 20 minutes at Christmas time just to get out of Chafford!
Must say I'm angry with this possible extension going ahead. If I wanted to go bowling I would go to Basildon. The council need to address the issues that Chafford residents need. More schools, more facilities for children, a library for the children!!!!!
Why extend the centre when the existing one ALWAYS has empty units. Charging customers to park is not the answer. Building another access road to the centre would be the best thing & try & direct the traffic away from Chafford Hundred. I'm a CHafford resident & it can take me 20 minutes at Christmas time just to get out of Chafford! Must say I'm angry with this possible extension going ahead. If I wanted to go bowling I would go to Basildon. The council need to address the issues that Chafford residents need. More schools, more facilities for children, a library for the children!!!!! purse
  • Score: 1

1:27pm Wed 29 Jan 14

loulougirl says...

regarding paying to park at lakeside........I would like to bring up something.
I am surprised that people complain for paying at Lakeside (a shopping centre), while they do pay and are ok to pay at basildon Hospital for parking while seeing relatives who are ill or to have treatments or medical tests,
After all, a shopping centre is a leisure activity, a choice, while hospital is not a choice: nobody choses to go to hospital. Nobosy chooses to have a relative in hospital and need to visit, and nobody choses to be sent to tests/treatments to hospital.

Would not make more sense to complain about hospital parking charges than a shopping centre?
I feel angry at the way people is being blackmailed and are made to fork out money to go to hospital, something nobosy choses to,
regarding paying to park at lakeside........I would like to bring up something. I am surprised that people complain for paying at Lakeside (a shopping centre), while they do pay and are ok to pay at basildon Hospital for parking while seeing relatives who are ill or to have treatments or medical tests, After all, a shopping centre is a leisure activity, a choice, while hospital is not a choice: nobody choses to go to hospital. Nobosy chooses to have a relative in hospital and need to visit, and nobody choses to be sent to tests/treatments to hospital. Would not make more sense to complain about hospital parking charges than a shopping centre? I feel angry at the way people is being blackmailed and are made to fork out money to go to hospital, something nobosy choses to, loulougirl
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Wed 29 Jan 14

loulougirl says...

(oh, I presses the key too early, I'll continue)
after all someome can choose not to go to Lakeside, but we can not choose not to go to hospital.
(oh, I presses the key too early, I'll continue) after all someome can choose not to go to Lakeside, but we can not choose not to go to hospital. loulougirl
  • Score: 0

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