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Prospect of £20,000 bill drives campaigner to end legal battle against Bishop's Stortford multi-storey car park

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Car park crusader Cliver Risby has given up his legal battle against a new multi-storey in Bishop’s Stortford because he faced a £20,000 bill.

However, the Yew Tree Place resident has vowed to continue his campaign against East Herts Council's 546-space project on the former cattle market site at Northgate End.

He had until Monday (January 6) to take his fight to appeal after a High Court judge ruled in favour of the authority.

Northgate End car park ramps. (26081492)
Northgate End car park ramps. (26081492)

Mr Risby won the first round in court after a judicial review forced the council to revise its scheme, removing a multi-use games area for the neighbouring youth centre at Northgate End, but he returned to Deputy Judge of the High Court Rhodri Price Lewis to argue that the revised scheme made no significant difference and was defeated just before Christmas.

Mr Risby told the Indie: “I cannot go to appeal because of the high cost of legal fees. I shall continue to do my best to draw attention to the considerable problems placing the MSCP on the Northgate site including the playing field.

“Public opinion has changed since the plan was first mooted and one has to ask why go against the national views by increasing parking when cars are considered bad for the environment elsewhere.”

Northgate End, Bishops Stortford. Corner where the current long stay car park is located. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26081483)
Northgate End, Bishops Stortford. Corner where the current long stay car park is located. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26081483)

He urged planners to follow the example of York, which is on course to be the UK’s first car-free city.

As well as the six-storey car park, East Herts Council wants to build a four-storey building, with commercial use on the ground floor and 15 flats above, as well as a further 27 surface-level spaces.

The multi-storey is the key to unlocking the council's vision for Old River Lane, a cultural quarter in The Causeway including a £30m arts centre, shops, offices, homes and a public square for events.

The car park should have been nearing completion early this year, but Mr Risby's legal challenges delayed the scheme by over a year.

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