A CAMPAIGN has been set up to turn Wantage’s former police station and magistrates’ court into a car park.

Wantage Town Council says more parking spaces are already needed in the town centre, even before 5,000 new homes are built in Wantage and Grove.

Town councillor St John Dickson, chairman of the town Joint Economic Forum (JEF), is now leading a campaign to buy the station from Thames Valley Police.

Mr Dickson said: “The demand for parking is growing and we just don’t have the capacity any more.

“This has always been an area that serves the town and I don’t see how Wantage is going to expand and keep thriving with nowhere to move into.”

He said the land was worth approximately £1m, so the group is hoping Vale of White Horse District Council can be persuaded to invest and run the car park.

Mr Dickson said he would also like some retail on the site, and if a retail developer could be persuaded to invest it would help meet the cost.

The main sticking point in the plan is that the police are already working with Hampshire’s Churchill Retirement Living to convert the empty building into old people’s homes.

Wantage and District Chamber of Commerce chairman and owner of Umami Deli, Michael Dale, said the scheme would benefit all Wantage businesses.

He said: “We did a basic calculation, and this could be worth hundreds of thousands to Wantage.”

Anyone who would like to lend support to the campaign is invited to email wantageclerk@btconnect.com

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