Reprieve for Bourton coach park

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CPT warns drivers to be respectful of residents by turning their engines off while parked up at Cotswold tourist honeypot village

Coach parking will continue to be available in Bourton-on-the-Water following a series of discussions between Cotswold District Council, Bourton Parish Council and the owner of the coach park at Station Road.

The owner, John Hackling, had announced that he would not accommodate coaches after January 31, 2016 following complaints by nearby residents about noise and exhaust fumes emitted by stationary coaches. However, following the most recent talks with representatives from both councils, he has agreed to rescind his closure notice on the basis that Cotswold District Council (CDC) will take a lease for the site while allowing Hacklings to manage the site. This means that the council will have direct responsibility for complying with environmental regulations, including emissions.

Commenting on the outcome of the discussions, CDC Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Partnerships, Cllr Chris Hancock, said: “I am very pleased to report that we have an agreement in principle with Mr Hackling regarding the continuing operation of the coach park. This will allow us time to formalise the arrangement, including planning approval and obtaining the necessary parking order. We will also be erecting a wall to ensure adequate environmental protection to neighbouring properties. We know that the January 31 deadline has been of great concern to many people, including coach operators and local traders, and we trust that we can now put their minds at rest regarding the future of the site. I would like to thank John Hackling and the Parish Council for the part they have played in resolving this issue.”

John said he was also pleased that an agreement had been reached: “Over the last few weeks we have had some very productive talks with representatives from both Councils, and I believe that the arrangement we have agreed will work well. We are the local experts when it comes to managing the site and we can now continue in the knowledge that CDC will look after lease holder responsibilities. We look forward to welcoming coach parties now and in the future.”

Cllr Bryan Sumner, the Chairman of Bourton Parish Council, added: “This is a great day for Bourton and, indeed the whole district. This site is vital to the future prosperity of the village, and many traders would have seen a considerable loss in income if we had not been able to find a way to accommodate coaches. I am very pleased that Hacklings will continue to manage the coach park, and I would like to thank everyone for the patience they have shown during the discussions.”

Reacting to the news, CPT Coaching Manager, Andy Warrender told CBW: “CPT is pleased to learn than an agreement has been reached and coaches will continue to be welcomed and able to park in Bourton-on-the-Water. This is not just good news for the coaching industry and its customers but also for local visitor attractions, shops, restaurants and accommodation providers, all of whom rely heavily on the many thousands of tourists who arrive in the village each year by coach.

“It is great to see that common sense has prevailed and the benefits of coach tourism have been recognised by those involved in making this decision.

“CPT would like to remind coach drivers and operators visiting Bourton-on-the-Water to be respectful of local residents by making sure that coach engines are turned off when vehicles are stationary in the coach park.”