Welwyn Garden City garage rents to treble

TOWN centre garage rents are set to rocket to nearly TRIPLE their current price, as Welwyn Hatfield Council attempts to raise some extra cash.

Residents from Park House and Howard House in WGC town centre are currently invited to rent garages at Campus East at a rate of �200, with residents living elsewhere in Welwyn Hatfield charged �260, and those taking them for commercial use, or those living outside the borough, paying �480.

On Tuesday cabinet councillors discussed the proposals drawn up by council officers, who were unable to establish when or why town centre dwellers were given a special cheaper rate.

The report recommends the council increases the rent for the Campus East garages to �577.80 a year [�481.50 plus VAT], increasing to �1,020 [�850 plus VAT] for commercial use, with no discounts offered.

It reads: “While it is true to say officers have been unable to identify the justification behind the subsidy this report is seeking to remove, it is quite likely one of the beneficiaries will be able to produce something.

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“It is possible the demand for these garages could evaporate in light of the amended tariff.

“However prospective tenants ought to be willing to pay at least as much for a garage as for an open air parking space [currently �735.60 per year for residents].

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“There is a risk of residents renting a garage instead of taking a season ticket as a means of gaining cheap access to the car park leading to a loss of revenue to the council.”

The council also rents 14 of the garages itself for departmental storage at a rate of �450 each; its internal bill will therefore rise to �11,900 due to this change of policy.

The price hikes will come into effect in September.

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