New pay and display car park triggers row in Perth

© DC Thomson
A temporary pay and display car park has been established at the former Blackfriars House

A row has erupted over new a pay and display car park on the edge of Perth city centre.

The temporary scheme has been set up at the former Blackfriars House office block at North Point.

Developers Crownwell Associates want to charge motorists for using the once-private 48-space site while the building is being marketed for sale.

The company, which has now set a closing date for offers, expects the scheme to run for about six months.

Solar powered parking terminals have been put in place and signs have gone up, offering drivers the chance to park for as little as £1 an hour (with a maximum stay of 10 hours).

However, Crownwell Associates still needs to secure planning permission for the scheme.

Opponents are now calling on Perth and Kinross Council to reject the company’s bid, claiming round-the-clock opening has already led to a “dramatic increase” in noise and litter problems.

In a letter of objection sent to planners, the owner of two neighbouring properties said  the car park used to be locked up at nights and at weekends when it was used for offices.

“The situation now is that the car park is open 24 hours a day and is never locked,” she said. “Both of our properties have seen a dramatic increase in rubbish that is deposited in our front garden, presumably by users of the car park coming and going.”

She told officers there were “considerable security concerns” about the operation. “Now anyone, whether they are using the car park or not, can walk in and have access to either of the back gardens of two (neighbouring) properties,” she said.

“I would also like to express my deep disappointment that, even though the planning application has not been decided yet, the car park is already being operated and has been for some weeks.”

Another objector added: “We have noticed already, with only partial use, a considerable increase in fumes and noise from traffic and users. We expect this to increase if planning permission is granted.”

Perth and Kinross Council closed its offices at B-listed Blackfriars in November 2016.

The building, which partly dates back to the late 18th Century, was previously used by the Hydro Electric Board.

No one from Crownwell Associates could be reached for comment.

Planners are expected to rule on the application in the coming weeks.