A Nottinghamshire council could spend at least £100,000 on new ANPR cameras outside a Travelodge hotel building it owns in Doncaster.
Mansfield District Council says it expects to be able to recover the spending – but wants to invest the money on car parking cameras at its Doncaster Lakeside premises – which it has owned as an investment since June 2015.
As the landlord of the building, the authority is also in control of managing the land and has had an ANPR car park management system in place for the past five years.
An ANPR system includes automatic number plate recognition software to identify when cars enter and exit car parks – issuing fines to motorists if they break parking restrictions.
This system expired in August and the authority now plans to launch a new, five-year contract.
Reports on the planned spending show the car park suffered “unacceptable” misuse from staff and customers of neighbouring businesses on the Doncaster estate nearby.
The new five-year camera contract is expected to cost £100,000, excluding 20 per cent VAT, taking the total to £120,000.
The authority says costs will be recovered from tenants occupying the premises – including a Subway fast food outlet on the ground floor.
There is also a vacant property on the land and, unless the space is filled, the council may need to pay £2,333.40 per year.
Dawn Edwards, the council’s head of finance, is due to approve the authority going to tender on the project during a delegated decision on Thursday, November 3.
In a paper published ahead of the decision, Amanda Beebe, the council’s senior general practice surveyor, said: “Mansfield District Council … has a contractual obligation to manage the site in accordance with good estate management practice.
“Staff/customers of neighbouring businesses have previously used the site for their own parking needs, thus leaving tenants with limited car parking facilities – which was unacceptable.
“Five years ago, a contractor was appointed to install an ANPR car park management system at the premises – which has been successful in deterring unauthorised parking.
“The current contract … ended on August 8, 2022, and therefore [the council is] seeking a supplier to continue the service.”
She added: “The car parking is essential for the success of the businesses and to ensure the asset value is not eroded.”
The Doncaster premises is one of many external property items owned by the authority as a way of bringing extra cash back into its budgets.
A 2018 asset management paper reveals the building was bought for £4.8m seven years ago and brings in at least £330,000 per year in rental fees.
Other buildings on the property portfolio include a PureGym in Manchester, a Volkswagen car garage in Glasgow and a mixed-use apartment and business block in Clapham, London.
This London building is currently causing major issues for the authority’s budgets after fire safety concerns were identified inside.
These issues could cost almost £20m to bring right and people living inside are being asked to leave their homes for as long as a year.
Floors, walls and ceilings are due to be ripped out of each of the 40 apartments to address compartmentation issues, with problems meaning a fire may not be easily contained if it catches alight.
The authority says it has already taken measures to address the issues and is confident the building remains safe to occupy.