Free parking spot fenced off

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 08:10 26/07/2013
Empty lot
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
PRETTY VACANT: The empty lot previously used by early-bird motorists in Bridge St.

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The treat of all-day free parking for early birds in Nelson city is now out of bounds, after the owner of a vacant site in Bridge St has had to fence the land to stop people parking there.

City workers recently discovered a new hidey-hole - the site left vacant after the demolition of Realty Chambers, and parked their cars there all day.

Property owner Brian Jones said he was happy to provide free parking in the city until such time as he had a plan for the site.

He said the site was full of vehicles by 8.10am each day, on a "first-come, first-served" basis.

He had no plans to turn it into a proper car park, because that would mean going down the route of the resource consent process.

The gesture of providing free parking ended this week when the city council intervened.

Mr Jones said yesterday he had been expecting the call. He still had no plans for the site which he imagined would be empty for the next decade.

The council said it had received a complaint about people parking on the site, which meant it had to act.

"Council officers pointed out to the land owner that under the Nelson Resource Management Plan a resource consent would be needed to operate a CBD section as a parking lot.

"The land owner had the option of applying for the necessary consent but instead opted to secure the site and prevent people from parking there," the council said in a statement.

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