According to a member of Alderley Edge Parish Council, their predecessors' plans for a car park at the Heyes Lane allotment site "would never have been successful".
In November and December Councillor Geoff Hall reported on the final costs of the medical centre and festival hall, and in his final report this month he looked at the previous parish council's project to build a car park on Heyes Lane.
Speaking at the Parish Council meeting on Monday, 8th January, Cllr Hall said "The former Parish Council presented the Heyes Lane car park as a simple solution to the village's parking needs and one which was only being thwarted by the resistance of the Heyes Lane allotment holders. However the reality was very different and I will show that this project would never have succeeded, as there were two other much more serious problems with it.
"These were. one finding an alternative site for the Heyes Lane allotments and funding the new car park."
Referring to finding an alternative site, Cllr Hall said "The Parish Council has a statutory obligation to provide allotments. The former council's proposal was to move them from Heyes Lane to a field at the end of Lydiat Lane. However, this option would only be possible if a deal was struck for a land swap between Alderley Edge School for Girls and Cheshire East. The Parish Council had no control whatsoever over this deal.
"In practice that deal failed to go ahead so Lydiatt Lane immediately ceased to be a viable site. The Parish Council had no alternative site available to it. The Heyes Lane car park was therefore immediately dead."
Secondly looking at funding for the new car park, Cllr Hall said "Even if the Lydiat Lane deal had gone ahead the previous Parish Council would still have a major problem as it had to be able to finance the building and operation of the new car park.
"The Parish Council claimed the new car park would cost £280,000 and this would be funded from the profits generated from the new medical centre. This was pure fiction. Even if the Parish Council had got its costings for the medical centre right, and of course we know that it had not, the medical centre would not have generated a surplus of £280,000 for many years, if ever. Our own cash flow forecasts confirm this.
"The previous Parish Council claimed the car park would be built for £280,000. We found no documentation to show that this figure was anything more than the product of guess work.
"Our own assessment carried out by independent consulting engineers shows that the cost would have been a minimum of £646,000 and more likely over £800,000 depending on the surface used. Other estimates have suggested that, given drainage problems on Heyes Lane allotments and at Lydiat Lane ,the actual cost of moving the allotments and building a new car park would have been substantially higher.
Cllr Hall concluded by saying "Given the high cost of the building the car park, coupled with the lack of available funding from the medical centre, there was never a viable way of funding the Heyes Lane car park - even if the alternative site at Lydiatt Lane had indeed become available,
"The 140 space car park promised by the previous Conservative Parish Council was therefore a fantasy with no realistic prospects of success."