These residents don’t want a lot for Christmas – there is just one thing they need: their car park back.
The 16-space car park and other spaces in front of Teville Gate were used by Zone F parking permit holders, but they have been closed ahead of demolition works in the new year.
But residents affected by the closure do not understand why they cannot park there during the busiest time of the year, and have started a petition to get the spaces back until the work actually begins.
Cheryl Hayman, 59, from Teville Road, spearheaded the resident movement. She said: “We have had years of problems here and enough is enough now. The only thing we had left was our car parking, and they are taking that away.
“We are too scared to park our cars here because they could be clamped or taken away, but it’s frustrating to see non-residents parking here and going into town thinking it’s a free car park.”
Paola Sabino, from Teville Road, has been living in the area for 40 years and said the parking is ‘absolutely disgraceful’.
She said: “I don’t go out in the afternoon because if I come back after 12pm you can’t find a parking space and I have to go walking with my shopping. It is a real joke.”
Ashleigh Dennison, 21, said the parking problems made it hard for her parents to visit their grandson Teddy, two.
She said: “It is such an unfair situation, particularly on my son. Sometimes we end up parking in Morrisons and walking over.”
West Sussex County Council is responsible for the car park. They said: “Unfortunately there is unlikely to be parking in this area over Christmas. We understand that Worthing Borough Council officers have been instructed to put hoardings up as soon as possible. This barrier is for the safety of the public and workforce before and during the demolition work.
“The hoardings will mean checks and surveys can be carried out safely, ready for the proposed demolition works.”
A Worthing Borough Council spokesman said: “As a council we remain committed to pushing ahead with our plan to demolish the existing multi-storey car park which we believe will act as a catalyst for the wider development of the Teville Gate site.
“We acknowledge this will have some impact on neighbours and happy to advise residents where they can find suitable on-street and off-street parking alternatives in the area.
“Longer term there is an ongoing parking review which is looking at provision across the whole town centre.”