Gardens & wildlife

Carelet 2010 parking difficulty

Failure to meet parking demand

On 9th June 2010, members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee refused Carelet’s application No. BH2010/00083  to build 6 three-storey houses on the greenfield site (to rear of 67-81 Princes Road).

The grounds for refusal of BH2010/00083, which the Council and Round Hill residents attempted to defend during Carelet's subsequent Appeal, were:
1) Failure to meet travel demand (parking)
2) Over development
3) Detrimental Impact on future occupiers due to the proximity to the Hollingdean depot

To access appeal decision, go to BH2010/00083 , filter documents by changing "Show all" to "Appeal Decision", then click on green tab APPLY. Select icon in the "view" column.

Once the Council's planning committee had already approved a 4-house scheme [BH2009/00847] very near to the Waste Transfer Station, ground 3) for refusal became very difficult to defend.

Point 9. of Isobel McCretton's appeal decision, ignores the fact that glass tipping takes place in the WTS (not the MRF) and is much more disturbing than the noise of trains, but holds the Council to the logic that as soon as you place 4 houses in an industrial noise environment = Application Number: BH2009/00847, then why not two more?

9. The third reason for refusal referred to the impact of noise from the nearby MRF, the activities at which have given rise to complaints about noise and odours from existing residents. The noise climate at the site is dominated by the railway line and the MRF, but the houses in this case would not be any closer to either noise source than those already approved, and there is no evidence that noise levels have worsened since the 4-house scheme was determined. The Council refers to a noise diary from one local resident, but I note that was completed in July 2009 around the time that the previous permission was granted. Moreover, both this and the observations of a local Councillor are unquantified and it is possible that some of the problems highlighted may be addressed through stricter enforcement of conditions relating to the MRF.


However, Isobel McCretton is able to cite Ground 1. Failure to meet travel demand (parking) as sufficient reason for dismissing Carelet's Appeal Ref: APP/Q1445/A/10/2131115. Decision date: 15 February 2011:

She observes in section 18 of her appeal decision that 18. residents accept that, during the daytime, on-street spaces are more readily available in the vicinity of the site, but they consider that overall, the on-street parking which currently takes place has been underestimated by the appellant. Their particular concern is with night time parking when demand is heaviest and when problems of double parking, parking on pavements and close to junctions are exacerbated. This time period has not been covered by the appellants.

Say "no" to more on-street parking stress
On street parking in Princes Road Carelet's parking survey - is flawed, out of date and hidden away in their application so nobody could easily find it.

In the document BH2010/00083 Supporting Document Technical Report Part 05, [change "show all" to "supporting document" before clicking the green button APPLY) drawn up before the decision to have residents' parking in the streets around London Road Station, they are still claiming that there is surplus on-street parking in Ditchling Rise and Springfield Road. They have not revised their claim that there are surplus parking places in Ashdown Road after the approval of a proposal involving 2 new houses and 3 flats.
Below are some of the transport concerns expressed by Round Hill residents who performed their own survey of the available supply of on-steer parking space in Round Hill. Their study was cited in Isobel McCretton's Appeal Decision. She treats the findings with some caution as the survey was not carried out by a specialist independent traffic survey company and has not been endorsed by the Highway Authority, although advice on methodology was obtained from the outset from the Council's Principal Transport Planner.

An alternative Community Parking Survey, carried out by local residents, lends support through empirical data to the arguments contained within the Community parking survey proforma (PDF:) we produced in our campaign to get Application BH2010/00083 refused.

parking problems in Princes Road May 2009 Princes Road's 1 in 12 hill where extra parked cars would create a dangeous bottleneck. If every area was fully parked all the time, cars would not be able to exchange parking spaces.

Hiding away the transport implications
in an obscurely labelled report

It is not surprising that the parking surveys and reports are consistently hidden away in Carelet's planning applications where the label BH2010/00083 Supporting Document Technical Report Part 05, [change "show all" to "supporting document" before clicking the green button APPLY] does nothing to identify the on-street parking survey contained in Appendix C. All the supporting documents labelled Technical Report in fact deal with the transport & parking implications of Carelet's proposal - one of the main concerns of local residents.

The parking survey offered on behalf of the developer at BH2010/00083 Supporting Document Technical Report Part 05 Appendix C, [change "show all" to "supporting document" before clicking the green button APPLY) does not measure the current problems of on-street parking at their peak and considerably overestimates the availability of Legal/Safe parking in the Princes Road area.

Community Parking Survey
Residents in the area have conducted a community parking survey to challenge what is being claimed by the developer. Our own calculations indicate that the transport requirements of the proposed development cannot be met by existing availability in the area.

chart showing total parking provision, free spaces and illegal or unsafe parking at 10pm on the three days from 20-22 July 2010 - see table below for details

The parking situation at 10pm on weeknights in July

Existing demand for on-street parking at peak periods, especially in the late evenings and overnight, already leads many drivers to park in unsafe or unsuitable positions such as blocking pavements or on junctions or yellow lines. This factor, which was not taken into account in the survey provided by the developer, illustrates the lack of suitable parking space.

Full results
Within 200m of the site entrance

Date Time Free spaces Unsuitably parked
______________ ________ ____________ ______________
Wed 14 Jul 21:15 20 4
Wed 14 Jul 23:00 7 n/c
Thu 15 Jul 21:00 12 6
Thu 15 Jul 22:00 7 n/c
Tue 20 Jul 21:40 14 7
Tue 20 Jul 22:00 10 8
Wed 21 Jul 22:00 7 7
Thu 22 Jul 22:00 15 8

Between 200 and 400m of the site entrance

Date Time Free spaces Unsuitably parked
______________ ________ ____________ ______________
Tue 20 Jul 22:00 1 40
Wed 21 Jul 22:00 4 47
Thu 22 Jul 22:00 7 42

Download the full survey including photographs and details of our methodology and surveys.

Community parking survey (PDF, 764kb)

Developer's survey avoids measuring peak demand
12 noon on Wednesday 14th January 2009 is probably represents the time during the week when on-street parking is at its lowest. It is certainly irrelevant to perceived pressures. A second 8 pm survey is taken on the same day, but this is a weekday in mid January! Any Round Hill resident would know that peak pressures are at weekends. At more popular times of the year than mid-January, parking considerately becomes an impossible challenge as the supply of safe/legal parking places in Round Hill does not meet the demand.

The same Highways Department which continues to give the "thumbs up" to development proposals (such as Carelet's 5th planning application and the recent Ashdown Road proposal), warns Round Hill residents in its bid to introduce Residents' Parking schemes that if inconsiderate parking (e.g. around junctions, double or blocking pavements) continues, we can expect to see more yellow lines.

Developer's survey is out of date in a number of its claims
Appendix C prepared by Carelet's consultants, originally for their last application is already out of date. The developer refuses to consider the Controlled Parking Zone, shortly to come into force in The Viaduct Road area, a material planning consideration. It is not mentioned in their transport survey, yet it was known to be on the cards as early as June 2007 and 67% of respondents to a Council consultation (which closed on 18th July 2009) voted "YES" to it.

Carelet is offering a beat-survey, performed in January 2009 and recycled from a previous application for its most recent 2010 proposal.

Ditchling Road and Ditchling Rise, where a few unoccupied on-street parking spaces were identified in the 12:00 study (above table), form the eastern and northern boundaries of The Viaduct Rise area. Its southern and western boundaries are Viaduct Road and Beaconsfield Road (the A23 into Brighton).

The decision to introduce residents' parking in The Viaduct Rise Area removes the claim that parking places there will be available to Carelet's prospective residents.

The Springfield Road area, also near to London Road Station area, also suffers from parking stress.

When the Viaduct Rise CPZ commence in September 2010, some predict that 30% of vehicles currently parked on-street in that area will need to look for parking elsewhere. It is thought that drivers looking for free parking will not go south (deeper into the centre of town) or west (towards the A23) but displacement is most likely to effect the "Springfield Road" and "Round Hill" areas, which have voted not to be extensions of the Viaduct Rise (London Road area) CPZ.

Appendix C also implies that there will be suplus on-street parking places available in Ashdown Road where a planning application has just been approved to convert one unit of accommodation into three flats and to build two extra houses.

Supporting Document Technical Report Part 05 Appendix C [change "show all" to "supporting document" before clicking the green button APPLY) still identies unoccupied legal/safe parking spaces in the vicinity of their application site:
(within 100M from the site) in Princes Road, Mayo Road and Crescent Road; (within 100M-200M away) in Mayo Road, Princes Road, Crescent Road, Richmond Road; (within 200M-300M of site) in Ditchling Rise, Princes Crescent, Crescent Road, Richmond Road, Ashdown Road; (within 300M-400M of site) in D'Aubigny Road, Ditchling Road, Roundhill Road, Belton Road, Princes Crescent, Wakefield Place, Roundhill Crescent, Ditchling Rise and Springfield Road.

The parking survey carried out in January 2009 on behalf of the developer

1) fails both to quantify and factor in any vehicles which are double-parked or parked on corners or pavements

2) claims that there is surplus parking space in Ashdown Road or Wakefield Road, both streets in which pavement parking when residents return from work obstructs pedestrian access along the larger part of whole footways. The point at which pavement parking impedes the free flow of pedestrians, making the passing of the car dangerous, is reached when the gap left is less than between 1.4m and 2.5m (precise measurement is subject to the numbers of pedestrians). The advice of The Council's Principal Transport Planner with regard to Wakefield Road is to leave a minimum of 1.7m clearance, as there is a long section on the northern footway without suitable places for pedestrians to pass. 1.7m allows two wheelchairs or buggies to pass safely.

3) classifies as "Legal/Safe" a significant number of parking spaces around the junction of Princes Road and Mayo Road (e.g. 6 opposite the two sides of the corner house at 1 Mayo Road: see Supporting Document Technical Report Part 05 Appendix C Survey , [change "show all" to "supporting document" before clicking the green button APPLY] which are "unsafe". Whether this 90 degree turning is thought of as "a bend" or "a junction", parking on it contravenes the safety advice given in The Highway Code. The issue of "legality" here hinges on whether parking would create an obstruction. The road at this point is so narrow that parking on both sides of the junction would block road access to service vehicles and/or larger emergency vehicles, as happens already when the recycling collection lorry has to reverse right back up to the junction of Princes Road and Crescent Road.
parking problems in Princes Road May 2009
Obstructing roads and footways is illegal. Moreover, many pedestrians, including parents with buggies taking small children to school, cross the road on or near the 90-degree junction both to cut off the wider corner and because it is one of the places where squeezing between two walls of parked cars isn't usually necessary.

Carelet's consultants highlight the assumption (that it is safe to park in the vicinity of a 90 degree bend) in paragraph 2.5 of their Supporting Document Technical Report Part 01, [change "show all" to "supporting document before clicking the green button APPLY)Technical Report Part 01. This area already becomes over-parked at weekends and some nights during the week. Motorists choose the sharp bend when all safer spaces in the street are already taken. Carelet's extra demand (visitors and services as well as new residents' cars) would create a bottleneck which would result in frequent obstruction of the highway. This would create problems for emergency vehicles at night since Carelet's car owners would be sleeping nearer to the Coastways railway (2 storeys down and to the rear of the street's current building-line. It would be very difficult to summon them to move their cars.

What the planning inspectors say?
In the last Appeal Decision relating to Carelet's proposal for 6 three-storey houses and 2 two-storey houses, Roger Mather, agreeing with the inspector who dismissed Carelet’s first Appeal, found merit in the argument that inadequate on-site parking would lead to further on-street parking, in an area suffering a degree of parking stress. In paragraph 14, he observes that it is stretching credibility to suggest that there is sufficient on-street space to provide for travel demand for eight family houses, estimated at seven cars, based on one beat survey undertaken during the early hours, on one weekday in August. He continues: moreover, the Survey showed only 8 spaces available within 100m of the site. A further 16 were available within a 400m of the site. I think that would be woefully inadequate to mitigate the harm at other times, outside the holiday season, when demand would be expected to increase. IT flows from this that in the absence of controls to ensure a genuinely car free scheme, one Car Club space would be inadequate. Roger Mather concludes (paragraph 15) that without a guarantee that the development would be genuinely car free, it would be likely to exacerbate parking stress in the area, sufficient to warrant withdrawing planning permission. The requirements of Local Plan Policies TR19 and HO7 (b) would not be satisfied.

The reality is that the current dangerous and overburdened state of our street infrastructure would horrify organisations such as Living Streets which campaign for pedestrian access / streets where walking is possible, and would not impress The Royal National Institute of the Blind which collects statistics on visually impaired people who feel unable to walk to their nearest bus-stop because their streets have become too cluttered.   Carelet's claim that there is adequate on-street parking for extra residents, is supported by a flawed study, which certainly does not impress.

This page was last updated by Ted on 07-Jan-2019
(registered users can amend this page)