Date announced for parking charges to begin at Southwater Country Park

Dinosaur Island official opening in Southwater Country Park  11/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150713-095457008

Dinosaur Island official opening in Southwater Country Park 11/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150713-095457008

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Car parking charges will be brought in at Southwater Country Park from July 25.

Last month a county council committee gave Horsham District Council, which owns the park, permission to charge for parking at the park.

Charges will be £1.50 daily from April to October, and 50p daily from November to March.

A statement from the council said: “The new charge has been kept as low as possible so that local people are not deterred from visiting and enjoying the popular facilities at the Park – with a £1.50 daily charge and annual permits available at £30.00.

“The Country Park has enjoyed an overhaul over the last 18 months, with improvements to car parking, access paths, the popular beach area and the installation of the new and much loved Dinosaur Island adventure play area.

“Since the new play area opened visitor numbers have almost doubled and the income stream from the new parking charge is needed to help cover maintenance costs for the Park.”

Cabinet member for leisure and culture Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) said: “We have kept the charge as low as we possibly can. The increasing popularity of the Country Park has meant that the council has needed to invest in more parking, better toilet provision, improved path surfacing and increased staffing. We now staff the Country Park daily to carry out patrolling, litter picking and visitor services.

“The proceeds from the new parking charge will pay for these additional services. We think that £1.50 for a day out for the family – including the exciting Dinosaur Island – represents very good value.”

The country park also offers water sports, picnics, country walks, cycling on the nearby Downs Link bridleway, and refreshments at the lake side Country Park Cafe.

Charging will be in force every day from 10am to 6pm. The council will monitor and enforce parking restrictions in the parking areas at the country park and in the surrounding roads.

To obtain a season ticket call the council’s parking services team on (01403) 215452.

For more information contact the council’s parks and countryside services team at parks@horsham.gov.uk or call (01403) 215285.

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