A UNIVERSITY technical college (UTC) hailed as a major facility for Burton could lead to parking woes for people living nearby, it has been claimed.
Approval has now been granted for the college, which will be in the annexe at Burton Town Hall and a new building due to take up much of the adjacent car park – reducing the amount of spaces by more than 100.
Developers say the change will not lead to any increase of parking in the area, but highways bosses, councillors, and council officers have expressed concerns to the contrary.
At a planning hearing held at Burton Town Hall, Councillor Greg Hall referred to the issue as 'the elephant in the room'.
Councillor Ron Clarke said: "I am quite eager for this development to take place.
"I think it's a good development and it improves the area, but we have to resolve the car parking issues.
"There are problems with parking in the general Burton area."
Other councillors questioned whether there would be problems with parking during town hall functions.
Developers behind the UTC have said the 48 remaining spaces in the car park will be adequate for the 55 staff and 600 pupils at the site, adding that there was plenty of on-street parking within a 10-minute walk if needed.
They refused to enter into an agreement providing up to £50,000 to mitigate parking issues if they arose, instead offering less than half the amount, with assurances it would not be needed.
Kirsty Clifton, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: "The UTC will generate a low level of demand.
"It is not expected to have an impact on on-street parking."