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HOPES are rising that an end could be in sight for the car parking problems which have plagued the Gardens of the Rose in Chiswell Green.

St Albans council leader, Julian Daly, and planning portfolio holder, Teresa Heritage, arranged a round-the-table meeting last month with the Royal National Rose Society (RNRS) and the neighbouring Butterfly World to try and resolve the parking issue.

And RNRS chief executive, Roz Hamilton, said that as a result the situation was “looking positive”. They should know by the end of the year if they can share parking with Butterfly World, extend their opening hours and look at obtaining such valuable assets as a wedding licence which would ease the RNRS’s financial plight.

The rose gardens in Chiswell Green Lane have been forced to limit their hours of opening in the summer for several years because of the parking issue which followed the sale of part of the RNRS land to Butterfly World.

It has meant that the RNRS has to rely on temporary permission from the district council for visitors to park there for a period of only weeks.

But with the annual opening of the gardens the biggest money spinner for the RNRS, Roz said in August that the society had already agreed it could not continue and would have to close the gardens as well unless it obtained planning permission for 30 adjoining permanent parking places.

The closure warning in the Herts Advertiser prompted numerous letters of support both to this newspaper and the RNRS and Cllr Daly said at the time he was going to make another bid to bring all parties together around the table.

Roz said this week that Butterfly World had agreed in principle to share parking, a decision which was awaiting ratification from the company which has the mortgage on the land, and admitted that the situation was, “looking positive”.

Another round-the-table meeting will be convened in early November. Should the issue still remain unresolved, the RNRS will go ahead with submitting their application for 30 permanent spaces which had been due to go to the council this month.

Roz praised all the people who had backed the RNRS and wanted to see the Gardens of the Rose remain open. She added: “I want to thank everyone for all the support we have had.”

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