Penrith’s ghost car park: A decade after ramps were removed, still no access to 100 spaces in CBD

The ghost car park sits empty. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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A ‘ghost’ car park with more than 100 spaces that could help solve parking dilemmas in the Penrith CBD remains in limbo.

The car park above TK Maxx and Skipton’s Arcade in the middle of Penrith has been left to rot, with no access for vehicles since access ramps from Allen Place were closed almost a decade ago.

A recent video posted by a TikTok user who had gained access to the car park shows just what Penrith is missing out on – dozens and dozens of empty spaces while drivers fight for limited spots just a floor below.

The story of the car park is a complicated one, and the subject of a blame game.

The land the car park sits on was originally owned by the Skipton family before they gifted it to Penrith City Council in the 1970’s.

The car park was subsequently built, and it was accessible via ramps that crossed Station Street for the next 40-odd years.

In 2014, Council hired a consulting firm to complete an inspection of the car park. That inspection revealed concrete cancer in the ramps, which were subsequently closed for safety reasons. The ramps were later removed.

The building was sold in 2016, and the Welsh Place car park was then transferred to the new owner.

A spokesperson for Skipton Investments says that this sale included a covenant, or an agreement, that the new owner was required to reinstate access to the car park.

Access was likely to be from the ground level car park, not via new ramps from Allen Place.

“They [Council] entered a contract with [the new owner], it must have been about 2017,” the spokesperson for Skipton Investments said.

“… What it [the covenant] says is you are obliged to use this land as a public car park, and you’ve got to build a ramp.”

A DA for new ramps to be built was applied for and has lapsed, meaning that no work has been done to provide access to the car park.

“If he [the new owner] puts this ramp in, [over 100 car parks] will become available and that is what he was supposed to have done,” the spokesperson said.

“For some unknown reason they [Council] do not push this guy.”

A breach of covenant was issued in 2018 but still no action has been taken.

“Because I pushed them [Council] and pushed them, they finally, in 2018, issued what is called a notice of breach of a positive covenant,” the spokesperson said.

The Weekender made numerous attempts to contact the current owner, but he did not respond.

Council had no comment on the matter.

In the meantime, locals can still see the blocked off car park from Station Street – where the ramps once stood.

If only they could park up there.

Emily Chate

Emily Chate joined The Western Weekender in 2024, and covers local news - primarily courts and politics. A graduate of the University of Wollongong, Emily has contributed to The Daily Telegraph and worked as a freelance journalist.

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