A MUCH-LOVED city centre car park could be set for permanent closure as part of a huge regeneration project, it has been revealed.

Both the Brittania and Vineyard car parks in Colchester are being eyed up for transformation. 

Colchester Council wants to revitalise both car parks with homes built alongside other new additions.

After securing nearly £40 million in regeneration funding, the council says Colchester has a "unique opportunity to breathe new life into the city" and to look again at the future of both car parks.

It has been revealed to the Gazette that as part of the future regeneration project, Britannia will first partially close to general public parking during 2025/26, followed by a full closure on a date to be confirmed later.

Gazette: Vineyard Street car park in ColchesterVineyard Street car park in Colchester (Image: Newsquest)

The £40 million funding, which includes Levelling Up, Section 106 and the Town Deal funds, will contribute towards various projects.

These include regenerating St Nicholas Square, Balkerne Gate, improve cycling infrastructure, creating a new digital hub on the site of the former bus garage, bringing heritage assets back into public use, and more.

The proposed development plans for the Britannia car park site include up to 120 new homes, public realm improvements, a heritage path linking the city centre to Colchester Town railway station, and housing.

Colchester Council has said the Brittania project is seeing “active progress”, with “significant progress” anticipated in the coming years.

This includes the development of initial concept designs for the public realm, access to the station, and improvements in Priory Gardens.

Gazette: Colchester's Brittania car parkColchester's Brittania car park (Image: Google)

The council also said it hopes to see a planning application for the public realm aspects “by the end of this year”, whilst the designs and feasibility of any mixed-use scheme “may take longer to finalise”.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed the Vineyard Street plans for 70 new homes haven't "proven commercially viable" and the council hopes to develop new proposals for the site.

However, it was confirmed Vineyard Street will retain easy access bays designated for disabled badge holders in any regeneration scheme.

Gazette: Colchester Council leader David KingColchester Council leader David King (Image: Newsquest)

Despite the news, Colchester council leader David King has assured residents both projects are a “long way off”, with it unlikely any work at Vineyard Street car park will start in the next five years.

He said: “It is understandable those who enjoy using Britannia and Vineyard Street car parks are speculating what this means for them.

“Britannia car park will not be developed for some time.

“We will share the regeneration plans when available, and we will welcome support and constructive challenges – just as we will with Vineyard Street plans, though they are a long way off now.”