Parking permits in Gathorne Road: response to consultation

The owner of flats which obtained planning permission on condition that they were car-free has applied to have eligibility for Controlled Parking Zone permits restored for his tenants. This arises from a recent appeal case in which the planning inspector found in his favour.

A consultation has just finished on whether the Traffic Order for Headington Central CPZ should be altered to include eligibility for tenants in these flats for parking permits.

Altaf and Ruth have sent the following response as City Councillors for Headington Ward. The final decision on whether this change will be approved will be made by Cllr Yvonne Constance at her Cabinet Member Decision meeting on the 12th October at County Hall.

If the change is approved, there will be more local pressure on the planning authority to turn down applications in roads well-served by public transport due to insufficient space for parking or resultant harm to neighbour amenity from additional parking pressure.

Submission to consultation re change to Headington Central controlled parking zone order: Wingfield House (Flats 1-6)

As city councillors for Headington Ward, we are writing to object most strongly to the proposed changes to the (HEADINGTON CENTRAL) (CONTROLLED PARKING ZONE AND VARIOUS RESTRICTIONS) (VARIATION No. 32) ORDER 20 which seeks to restore the above Gathorne Road properties to full permit eligibility. We set out our concerns below.

  • We believe that the County Council should not be encouraging the use of cars in areas that are excellently served by frequent public transport, especially at a time when the Access to Headington project is facilitating better space for cyclists, and when concerns from our residents about air quality in the area are increasing. The advent of Rapid Transit buses will improve travel for Headington residents still further, and there is a successful car-share scheme currently in operation in the area.
  • Applications to intensify or change the use of flats and HMOs in this area have been permitted by the planning authority including councillors on East Area Planning Committee only on condition that these are car-free developments. Gathorne Road is close to excellent public transport routes in and out of Oxford, the airports and London.
  • There are currently only 18 dwellings in Gathorne Road; on-road parking spaces are already under pressure both from existing permit-holders, and from hospital and care workers seeking to access the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and a Gathorne Road property for tenants with special needs. The removal of some on-road parking spaces in Windmill Road as part of the Access to Headington scheme is likely to shift parking to adjoining residential roads including Gathorne Road. The restoration of permit eligibility to tenants in these six properties would reduce on-road parking availability for current Gathorne Road permit-holders, and potentially shift parking pressure to St Anne’s Road nearby, thus impacting negatively on permit-holders there too.
  • We are anxious that this proposed change arising from what we feel to have been a questionable inspector decision does not serve as a precedent for the Headington area, which contains a very large number of shared houses, HMOs and flats which have only received permission for build or change of use on condition that they are car-free. We recognise that it is most unusual for a local authority to challenge an appeal decision by a planning inspector, but we feel that the arguments for exempting these properties from eligibility for the CPZ are overwhelming.

We urge the Cabinet Member to oppose this change and ask her to continue to exempt these properties from full permit eligibility in the Headington Central CPZ.

Altaf-Khan and Ruth Wilkinson             29/09/17

Here is the submission from County Cllr Roz Smith, submitted 3/10/17

Submission to consultation re change to Headington Central controlled parking zone order: Wingfield House (Flats 1-6), Gathorne Road, Headington, Oxford

 

With advice from Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council planning committee put a condition on this property that it should be exempt from parking permits, i.e. a car free development. The condition was sensible given the proximity of regular public transport, local services within easy walking distance, (GP, Dental, library, schools etc.) plus an active car sharing scheme.

The owner has now appealed this condition and it seems an ill-informed planning inspector found in his favour. This was a shock, given the pressure on the few residents parking spaces within Gathorne Road, nearby St Anne’s and Margaret Roads. If allowed, we could see as many as 12 more vehicles competing for the 18 spaces in Gathorne Road and the few spaces in surrounding area.

Many homes do not have off road parking and the Access to Headington project will see even more pressure when residential spaces in Windmill Road are removed. The detailed work around removal of parking spaces in Windmill Road undertaken by county officers with consultation with residents and local councillors will be undermined by allowing parking eligibility for the Wingfield House development.

The stated aim of Access to Headington is to encourage use of sustainable means of transport. If this change to the eligibility for parking permits is allowed then I envisaged a raft of appeals for changes to parking conditions within the City’s controlled parking zones.

I concur with my city councillor colleagues that if this change is approved then it will be more difficult for the local planning authority, (Oxford City Council), to turn down applications and for the County Council to further its aim of reducing the high volume of vehicle movements within the City.

I recognise it will be unusual, but not the first time, that a local authority to challenge an appeal decision by a planning inspector. However, I feel the arguments for exempting these properties from the eligibility for parking permits in the Headington CPZ are overwhelming and I urge the Cabinet member to continue the exemption for this development.

Cllr Roz Smith

County Councillor for Headington & Quarry

Notice of proposal to change parking in Latimer Road

The County Council has given notice of proposals to amend the traffic regulation order for parking in Latimer Road pursuant to the conditions given to planning consent for the Beech House development and adjacent maisonettes.

Here is the map of what is proposed. Comments must be directed to

Traffic and Road Safety Team (Ref.MR) for Director for Communities, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1ND

by the 29th September

 

Parking in Woodlands Close during Southern Gas works

We were alerted to works coming up in the Woodlands Close area as follows:

Woodlands Close, Oxford, Oxfordshire
14 September — 30 October
Delays unlikely Some carriageway incursion
Works location:  The Whole Of Woodlands Close
Works description:  Relay Approximately 160 Metres Of 4″ Di With 75mm Pelp + Associated Services
Responsibility for works:  SGN
Current status:  Planned work about to start

Woodlands Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire
14 September — 30 October
Delays unlikely Traffic control (give & take)
Works location:  Jct Franklin Road To Jct Of Sandfield Road – C/W F/W Verge
Works description:  To Abandon 350m Of 4″/6″2″ Si And Replace With Similar Of 90/140/63 Plus Associated Services And Connections
Responsibility for works:  SGN
Current status:  Planned work about to start

We contacted County Streetworks who gave us the contact number for Southern Gas’s contractor. We asked about the implications for resident parking during the works and have received this reply:

We don’t anticipate to restrict parking on Woodlands Road but we may have some slight impact on Woodlands Close. We have applied for a number of parking dispensations for the residents which may be affected by our works and will be in full communication with these at all points during our works.

We have the contact number for the contractor so if anyone has concerns, please get in touch and we will resolve these directly with SPIE Distribution and Transmission.

Parking entitlement in car-free developments

Should permission be granted to build car-free accommodation in Headington?

If you agree, then should anyone moving into that accommodation be entitled to ask retrospectively for CPZ visitor permits?

This is a hot topic in Headington. Currently those living in “car-free” accommodation are not eligible for parking permits but a planning inspector has ruled in the favour of a developer who has asked retrospectively for the decision on one of his flats to be overruled.

This and other issues of concern will be debated in the Open Session at our next Ward Focus Meeting on Tuesday 26th September at 6pm in Headington Baptist Church Hall after the presentation by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Response from OUH NHS Foundation Trust re Marston Medical Centre plans

We referred the concerns about parking pressure arising from the relocation of Marston Medical Centre that you raised at the June Ward Focus Meeting to the Trust, and we have received the following response from Peter Knight, Executive Director.

 

Marston Medical Centre

We have been keen to support our primary care colleagues in finding a new location for a much needed local GP practice, and so have worked with them to adapt accommodation at Arthur Sanctuary House for their use.

The Trust is very well aware of the pressures on parking on our sites, as you can imagine, but one of the key factors in getting our support for this application was the fact that there was not parking at the previous location, so there would be no expectation from patients for parking to be provided at the new location. From the practice’s perspective, the site offers very good public transport links which obviate the need for parking. There is provision for disabled parking immediately outside the building, but no other arrangements for onsite parking have been made with the practice.

Plans for our hospital sites

The Trust is working on a masterplan for all of our hospital sites with our University and healthcare partners, using experts AECOM. We are also working with planners in the City and other district councils. We will share plans at the appropriate stage of development with local councillors and local residents. We have not yet reached that level of detail.

Suspension of parking bays for street works

Residents (and police) have asked us for clarification regarding the temporary suspension of parking bays. The County Council has sent the following clarification.

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 which covers Civil Enforcement, as the enforcement authority we have the ability to suspend parking bays  and there is no requirement for a TRO [Traffic Management Order] or a  TTRO [Temporary Traffic Management Order].  We erect the signage giving a minimum of 5 clear working days to give notice and then when the suspensions comes into force we have the ability to carry out enforcement.

Should anybody receive a PCN [Penalty Charge Notice] they have the ability to appeal, there is a due process to follow which eventually leads to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Service.  The PATROL website gives full information of the process. 

https://www.patrol-uk.info

 

Breaking. Parking suspensions along the energy pipe route SUPERSEDED – SEE ABOVE

Residents have contacted us because they are concerned about the parking suspension notices that the County Council has put up along the whole of the energy pipe route.

It’s standard practice for the Council to blanket cover the whole area where works will take place. This is ensure that parking is suspended should the works on one section finish earlier than expected and gives the contractor the facility to get work done more quickly.

In this case, the project will continue for four and a half months, so blanket coverage of suspension signs is causing needless concern.

We have discussed this with the Civil Enforcement Manager at the County Council and have secured an undertaking that superfluous parking suspension notices will be removed until needed, provided that Vital Energi undertakes to give 5 clear working days notice before moving works from one section to another. The Vital Energi project manager is happy to give that assurance but we are waiting to get official confirmation before we send out emails and street letters to that effect.

Councillors will discuss parking suspensions in Lime Walk (which will become one way after Christmas) at a meeting with County Networks and Vital Energi tomorrow.

This post will be updated later today

Parking bays to be re-painted

Following fierce lobbying by councillors over non-enforceability, the County Council has found the money to re-paint parking bays and double yellow lines in Bickerton Road and Stapleton Road

  • signs for “no parking” will appear next week
  • the work will be done in sections to maintain some parking in each of the roads
  • the work is likely to take 3 days
  • the work is scheduled for 3rd-5th October

It’s good to know that this will be done before the energy pipe works in adjacent roads.

Bravo County Council! Changes to parking permit service

Thanks to residents for telling Customer Services Manager Mark Peet your views at our Ward Focus Meeting. He has investigated your issues and reports back below on actions taken.

As promised I have a further update on improvements to the Residents and Visitors Parking Permit service.

In July I  advised that I would be looking at further ways to improve our online service and document validation service for residents, in particular around the Headington area, who are unable to upload documents as part of the application process.

I am pleased to inform you I have made changes to reflect the need to improve both of these areas.

  1. Online Payments – As part of the online application process for Resident and Visitor Permits, residents in Controlled Parking Zones can now complete the full application online including paying for their permits. There is now a secure, safe and PCI compliant way to pay for residents when applying. This service was made available from Monday 8thAugust and we have had over 100 applicants in less than a week choosing to apply and pay using this service.
  2. Document Validation – On the 8thand 9th of September our team in Headington Library will be training in Document Validation which will enable them to validate parking documentation. This service will then be available in Headington Library from week commencing 12th September. This means customers will be able to validate the documents we need as part of the application processes without needing to send them into us. We will simply check the documents and hand them back to the resident once we have confirmed they are correct.

It’s good to see positive changes being made by the County Council and an officer keen to come out to public meetings to listen to and act upon our residents’ concerns.