Gardens & wildlife

Fallacy of genuine car-free developments in Round Hill

Is the purpose of a CPZ (for which residents agree to pay)

[A] to reduce parking difficulty, or

[B] to secure permitted development and unwanted infill?













Three planning inspectors (J Mansell Jagger, Roger Mather and Isobel McCretton) dismissed Carelet's appeals against refusal. All understood the pressure on parking space in Round Hill especially in the evenings. However, it is fair to mention that policy HO7, which formed part of the basis for dismissing the appeals, has now changed.

The new policy includes guidance on factors which should be taken into account in the context of a CPZ, which gives the Council control over parking. Without this control, the fallacy would remain.

See pages 6 & 7 of The Council's October 2016 parking standards and note the proximity of the application site to Lewes Road, Ditchling Road and London Road Railway Station. Many Round Hill residents walk to these transport links.

Areas within the Key Public Transport Corridors zone are predominantly of a residential nature with retail and commercial frontages on certain roads. This area is well served by local bus services and some suburban railway stations such as London Road and Aldrington.



1) J Mansell Jagger's 2005 appeal decision

APPEAL DECISION Site visit made on 15th August 2005.
by J Mansell Jagger MA(Cantab) DipTP MRTPI IHBC

Appeal Ref; APP/Q1445/A/05/1178381 Land behind No's 67-81 Princes Road, Brighton BN2 3RH

Local residents are particularly concerned regarding traffic and pressure on parking in the area. I have to say that I share some of these concerns. It is not clear that the development could be guaranteed to remain ‘traffic free’ and that none of the residents would own or use cars. The existing residents rely heavily on on-street parking and any significant additional car usage would exacerbate the pressure for parking in the area, with the concomitant additional hazards to road safety stemming from possible indiscriminate parking and the circulation of vehicle drivers seeking a parking space. Prince's Road and several of the surrounding streets slope steeply and are not ideal terrain for cyclists or pedestrians. I note that the Highway Authority does not object, providing the details of the car club are pursued further, but the lack of a guaranteed traffic-free solution reinforces my view that the proposed development is unacceptable.

2) Roger Mather 's 2008 appeal decision

APPEAL DECISION Site visit made on 29th September 2008
by Roger Mather MA Dip Arch RIBA FRTPI

Appeal Ref; APP/Q1445/A/08/2073223
Land behind No's 67-81 Princes Road, Brighton BN2 3RH

•    The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and country Planning Act 1990 against a failure to give notice, within the prescribed period, of a decision on an application for planning permission.

•    The appeal is brought by Carelet Ltd against Brighton & Hove City Council
•    The application (Ref: BH2007/04444) is dated 30 November 2007.
•    The development proposed is 8 houses (two & three-storey) with private & communal
gardens, a street level lift 'Gate House' and a new access off Prince's Road.

13. Earlier applications were not refused on their traffic impacts but the previous Inspector, when dismissing an appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for 30 flats, considered that the lack of a guaranteed traffic-free scheme reinforced his view that the proposed development, was unacceptable. The appellant company contends that its vehicle parking beat survey identified sufficient on-street parking for occupants of the houses, within easy walking distance, that would not give rise to any material harm or inconvenience to existing residents. However, observations during the visit lead me to believe that there is 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.

14. It does seem to me that it is stretching credibility to suggest that there is sufficient on-street space to provide for travel demand from eight family houses, estimated at seven cars, based on one beat survey undertaken during the early hours, on one weekday in August.  Moreover, the Survey showed only 8 spaces available within 100M of the site. A further 16 were available within a 400m walk 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.

15. I conclude on the third issue 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 withholding planning permission. The requirements of Local Plan Policies TR19 and H07 (b) would not be satisfied.

3) Isobel McCretton's 2011 appeal decision

APPEAL DECISION Site visit made on 26 October 2010
by Isobel McCretton BA(Hons) MRTPI

Appeal Ref: APP/Q1445/A/10/2131115
Land rear of 67-81 Princes Road, Brighton BN3 2OJ
• The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a refusal to grant planning permission.
• The appeal is made by Carelet Ltd against the decision of Brighton & Hove City Council.
• The application Ref. BH2010/00083, dated 11 January 2010, was refused by notice dated 15 June 2010.
• The development proposed is construction of 6no. three-storey, two bedroom terraced houses with pitched roofs and solar panels. Provision of private communal gardens, waste and refuse facilities and erection of a street level lift gatehouse with cycle store.


14. With regard to parking, the site is not within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) and the Council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPGBH Note 4: Parking Standards 2000) sets a normal requirement for the provision of up to 9 spaces (i.e. 1/dwelling and 1 visitor space/2houses), 3 more than the extant ´┐╝scheme. The parking standards are expressed as a maximum, the city’s aim being to reduce excessive parking provision that encourages the non-essential use of the car, especially for peak time travel.

15. The site is in a reasonably accessible location, being within 4 minutes walk of Ditchling Road which is an arterial north-south bus route through Brighton, and around 485 metres from the London Road railway station. On-site cycle storage would be provided to meet the Councils’ standards and the submitted S106 undertaking would secure contributions towards sustainable transport measures contained in the Local Transport Plan. I am satisfied that such contributions are reasonably and proportionately related to the development and that they accord with the tests for planning obligations set out in Regulation 122(2) of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 and policy Q28 of the Local Plan.

16. As with the extant scheme there would be no vehicular access to the site and no on-site parking provision. Local Plan policy HO7 indicates that the Council will grant permission for car-free housing in accessible locations where there are complementary on–street parking controls and where it can be demonstrated that the development would remain genuinely car free over the long term. However the appellants are not claiming that the development would be car free, rather that there is sufficient capacity in the available on- street parking in the area to absorb the likely parking demand from the proposed development.

17. The Highway Authority did not disagree with the conclusions of the appellants’ submitted Technical Note (TN), updated since the previous application was considered. The study found that there would be sufficient on-street capacity to accommodate the extra parking which may be generated. However there are a number of references in the appellants’ TN, and in later submissions, to the fact that there is on-street capacity for 6 spaces, estimated from extrapolated census data as being the likely level of car ownership for the development, whereas the adopted standard would require up to 9.

18. Residents accept that, during the day time, 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. A community parking survey was carried out by a group of residents in July 2010. Unlike the survey conducted for the appellants, it was not carried out by a specialist independent traffic survey company and, although advice on the methodology was obtained at the outset from the Council’s Principal Transport Planner, it has not been endorsed by the Highway Authority since being completed. I therefore treat the findings with some caution.

19. Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport (PPG13) notes that local authorities should not require developers to provide more car parking spaces that they themselves wish unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example where there are significant implications for road safety which cannot be resolved through the introduction of on-street parking controls. The Highway Authority did not consider that there were ´┐╝significant circumstances in the surrounding area which would be exacerbated by the proposal. Nevertheless, the residents’ survey bears out the local concerns that demand for on-street parking is heaviest in the very late evening. More importantly, in my view it highlights the fact that, because of the high demand, indiscriminate parking in places which could prejudice vehicle and pedestrian safety is already taking place: I observed several instances for myself within the study area during the daytime when going to and from my site visit.

20. Moreover, I am aware that since the application was determined a CPZ has been introduced some 400 metres from the appeal site. In my experience, it is highly probable that some displacement parking, both from commuters and from residents within the CPZ who cannot get/do not wish to purchase permits, will take place within the vicinity of the site.

21. I am also cognisant of the fact that another Inspector, in determining a previous appeal in respect of proposals for 8 houses on the site, expressed the view that parking stress in the area would be likely to be exacerbated in the absence of any guarantee that the development would be genuinely car free. In that case the estimated demand was 7 spaces.

22. To conclude I do not consider that it has been adequately demonstrated that the proposal provides for the future travel and parking demands which would be created as a result of the development in accordance with Local Plan policy TR1.


Community Parking Survey
In June 2010, residents in Round Hill conducted the community parking survey referred to in Isobel McCretton's appeal decision (above) to challenge what is being claimed by the developer. Our own calculations indicate that the transport requirements of Carelet's 2010 proposal for 6 houses cannot be met by existing availability in the area. We seemed to convince third appeal inspector to find Carelet's proposals unacceptable on transport grounds.

However, we have failed to convince Brighton and Hove City Council, which in March 2014 granted permission for an even taller Carelet proposal for 6 houses in spite of the 2010 appeal lost by the developer on transport grounds.

Half-baked solution

The rationale for now ignoring the references by three appeal inspectors to the Council's own preconditions in policy HO7 for genuine car-free housing seems to be that with the CPZ (impllemented in September 2012) the preconditions are 50% satisfied. A half-baked solution is one which does not prevent a negative outcome. All three inspectors point out that car-free housing could not reasonably be sustained in Round Hill. The half-satisfied precondition (the existence of a CPZ) does not prevent the probably outcome that "parking permit apartheid" in Round Hill would not stand up to legal challenge.

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)

Are those who want CPZs to ease parking being used as pawns to let in developers?


On 12th March 2014, it took the Council's planning committee less than ten minutes (with no debate) to approve a car-free development comprising 6 houses on land to the rear of 67-81 Princes Road.

If this is built and the car-free condition is relaxed at a later stage, ***as seems likely***,  this recent permission would generate a demand for 9 on-street parking spaces.

***please refer to the observations of all three planning inspectors who dismissed Carelet's 2005 2007 & 2010 appeals against refusal***

The Council has explained in a letter to Crescent Road and Belton Road residents that they are disqualified from commenting on the issues that are important to them (loss of privacy, open space, visual & environmental benefits), all except for the parking issue.

If the planning committee proves equally ready to approve another cramped development (five flats on land to the rear of 28/28B Crescent Road), then failure to sustain a car-free development in the long run woud create an additional demand for 7 extra parking spaces.

A new demand for 15 additional on-street parking spaces in Princes Road and Crescent Road would largely reverse the benefits of the residents parking scheme which a narrow majority of us agreed to pay for

It may only be a year or two before, Area J residents, especially those in Round Hill streets in the vicinity of Crescent Road are faced with a demand for over 15 extra on-street parkings spaces without any more being created. The sustainable transport department may already have made up its mind, ignoring its own Local Plan Policy (HO7) on genuine car-free housing in order to meet government pressure to build more houses.

We need to let them know that this departure from its own policy is likely to reverse the benefits of the recent CPZ. Could any neighbourhood which suffers from extreme parking difficulty (Hanover, Elm Grove, Triangle, Preston Drove) trust a Council which uses willingness to pay for on-street parking to facilitate overdevelopment, reversing the benefits gained through willingness to belong to a CPZ?

We need to oppose the following on the basis of Transport and highways impact, which makes a nonsense of schemes which purport to reduce parking difficulty.

How many unsustainable car-free developments will Area J be given on the back of the CPZ which residents are paying for?

Lifting the condition that Carelet's development should be car-free would create an estimated demand for 9 extra on-street parking places in a part of Round Hill which has only recently had its bottlenecks eased. parking
2013: even with a residents' parking scheme, there are still bottlenecks during the day before parking difficulty reaches its peak in the evenings after the CPZ cut-off time of 8pm.


This page was last updated by Ted on 18-Aug-2018
(registered users can amend this page)