Half of Gorrell Tank car park in Whitstable has reopened, almost a week ahead of schedule.
Southern Water, which owns the stormwater tank underneath the car park, has been carrying out emergency repair work to the tank’s temporary supports. To do that safely, the city council-run car park on the surface had to be closed.
The council and Southern Water have been working together very closely to ensure the period of time the well-used car park is closed for is kept to a minimum. It was initially thought half of it could open by 11 June, but Southern Water’s contractor brought in extra staff over the weekend to get it open six days early.
Efforts will now turn to the remaining half of the car park, with Southern Water aiming to complete the repairs to the temporary supports and reopen it by the end of June.
Representatives from the council and Southern Water met on site last Tuesday (29 May) to discuss the issues with the tank and the car park. Regular monthly meetings will now take place between both organisations to discuss long term plans.
Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “We’re grateful to Southern Water for pulling out all the stops to get half of the tank open so quickly. It’s the town’s largest car park and is very important, particularly in the summer months when Whitstable is so busy.
“We look forward to the swift completion of the remaining work and a return to a fully operational car park.”
Project Manager for Southern Water, Jonathan Yates, said: “We’ve been working hard to complete the urgent work and, with the repairs to the western side of the tank virtually complete, we’re pleased to now be in a position to reopen part of the car park well ahead of schedule.
“We’re continuing with our work on the rest of the car park and we’re grateful for the community’s understanding while we carry out this essential work.”