SCORES of residents are opposing plans for a 90-space long-stay car park backing onto The Carrs in Wilmslow.

Michael Cooksey wants to create the car park on a long-vacant site in Hawthorn Lane, behind Heald Court, a purpose-built apartment block.

Mr Cooksey says car parking in and around Wilmslow town centre is 'in crisis', and there is a significant and urgent demand for extra long-stay parking.

However residents say the car park would add to congestion in an already busy road.

The scheme is also opposed by Wilmslow Civic Trust, which said the site was within the Hawthorn Conservation area, and could affect road safety due to 90 vehicles using the site.

Most of the spaces at the proposed car park would be designed for 4x4 vehicles, there would be recharging points, disabled spaces and a secure bicycle store.

The spaces would be used by business contract users for long-stay, and there would be no need for daily payment. However it could be possible to use some or all of the spaces for public parking at weekends.

A report with the application said: "The driver for this scheme is the dire need for extra parking, especially for long-stay usage in and around the town centre.

"Car parking in Wilmslow town centre is in a dire way, which is stifling business and retail and the rental markets.

"Any policy doubts over the use of the land for parking in a Conservation area are unjustified, but in any event are far outweighed by the clear and convincing justification for parking."

Mr Cooksey said The Carrs was screened from the land earmarked for the car park, and would not be visible for people using Hawthorn Lane.

Planning approval for the parking is being sought from Cheshire East Council, with February 27 the deadline for comments on the application, 20/01282M.

The scheme has attracted more than 60 letters of opposition, many coming from Hawthorn Lane residents.

Comments include - "I do not think the road can sustain any additional traffic. It is already a busy through road that has difficult access in the mornings and evenings."

"This is an inappropriate development as the increase of traffic at all times of the day on Hawthorn Lane would be crazy."

"Hawthorn Lane is already extremely congested as it is used as a cut-through from Manchester Road or Alderley Road to the A538 or vice versa. With the traffic calming meaures in place the queues can extend a considerable distance in both directions."

"Hawthorn Lane is a busy residential street, on which congestion is made worse by parked cars, traffic islands and speed-humps. Long queues and aggressive driving are commonplace."