The home site of the Round Hill Society, a community group of the residents of Round Hill in Brighton, England. The site contains information about the area, latest news and reflections on life in Round Hill.
Below are 15 points [A to O] offered in response to developers who argued that there is sufficient capacity for more on-street parking in Round Hill. Happily both the local council and the appeal inspector shared residents' concerns.
The same Transport Planning Company has carried out surveys (on behalf of developers) for two application sites approximately 200 metres apart in Round Hill within the past year.
On Thursday 23rd Nov 2017 and Tuesday 16th January 2018, they surveyed average on street parking stress in Princes Road and Mayo Road in relation to BH2018/00881 the 6 tall houses to the rear of 67-81 Princes Road. Change “Show All” to “Supporting Document”. Then click green button “Apply”.
On 4th December 2018, they surveyed the same two streets in addition to Crescent Road, Princes Crescent, Richmond Road, Belton Road, Round Hill Road and Round Hill Street in relation to BH2019/00072 Land to the rear of Crescent Road See TRANSPORT TECHNICAL NOTE.
In an internal consultee comment dated 7 Nov 2018 (description: TRANSPORT) on BH2018/03222 also in Round Hill, made on behalf of Highway Authority Brighton & Hove City Council, it is disclosed that in the 12 preceding months permit update in the area J controlled parking zone ran at 92%. Read Highway's advice on the policy implications of figures over 80% under Special Planning Document 14. This actual finding indicates that Reeves Transport Planning's estimates of anticipated on-street demand for BH2019/00072 and BH2018/00881, based on 2011 population census data are both out of date and misleading.
In the case of BH2019/00072 Land to the rear of Crescent Road, Reeves estimates an extra demand for four on-street parking spaces.
In the case of BH2018/00881the 6 tall houses to the rear of 67-81 Princes Road (5 of which are three-storey with work study rooms which could be used as third bedrooms), his guesswork is an extra demand for six on-street parking places. This estimate is optimistic given the pressure for accommodation in Brighton & Hove. Theoretically, just one of Carelet’s three-storey houses could accommodate up to 6 adults with driving licences.
The Super Output Census data uses in the Transport Planning Survey relies on population density, but omits factors such as the terrain of our hilly neighbourhood and the need to escape from homes with very poor outlook to escape from dust and odour. The private outdoor space belonging to each home faces The Municipal Waste Transfer Station.
Reference to the steeply sloping terrain of Round Hill streets” is made in Section 16 of The planning inspector's 2005 Appeal Decision APP/Q1445/A/05/1178381 relating to the Carelet site.
The appeal inspector adds that “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 concomitant additional hazards to road safety stemming from possible indiscriminate parking and circulation of vehicle drivers seeking a parking place.”
Even if we trust The Transport Planning Company'’s census data and dismiss any element of optimism in the assumption that demand will be limited to 6 extra on-street car spaces, it is still clear that parking stress in Round Hill is already very high. Section 6.2 of the survey for Carelet states “this worst-case scenario for permit requirements increases the parking stress to 89.3%. This is below the limit of 90% that is usually defined as the maximum acceptable parking stress.
See analysis of OF BH2019/00072: Dominic Furlong's critique of inaccurate figures on parking stress relating to houses to the rear of 28 Crescent Road application BH2019/00072.
Round Hill resident, Neil Griffiths observes that The Transport Planning Company’s beat data are also wrong for the Carelet site application BH2018/03222:
“the 89.3 figure is wrong: it is at best 90.5% if not 91.2%. The 89.3% uses the parking stresses stated on 23rd November of 88.9% and on 16th January of 89.7%. The 16th January figure of 89.7% is wrong. It is either 91.2% (104 divided by 114) or 90.4% (104 divided 115)”.
Neil Griffiths also draws attention to inconsistencies in Tables 3.1 and 4.1 in the survey: “they can’t decide whether capacity is 115 (as shown in table 4.1 on page 5) or 114 (as shown in table 3.1 on page 4).
The average parking stress on 23rd November is stated to be 88.9% but this uses the number of cars parked (104) divided by the total number of cars parked and observed spaces (117). If the official capacity of 114 is used the parking stress is 91.2%. If 117 is used on 23rd November and 114 on 16th January then the average parking stress in 90.5%.”
Note also that the beat surveys for BH2018/00881 were performed in mid November and mid January 2018 - not exactly times of the year when parking stress is at its peak
The beat survey for BH2019/00072 - the only one - was performed on 12th December 2018. The claim in Section 3.1 that the data results enable an understanding of the current parking demand near the site would be more credible if further surveys were conducted during the May Brighton Festival or during Pride weekend.
The Planning Inspector is scathing about single beat-surveys in paragraph 14 of his appeal decision relating to the Carelet site Appeal Ref: APP/Q1445/A/08/2073223 Decision date: 21 October 2008.
He considered a survey which showed 8 spaces available within 100m of the site and a further 16 within 400m of the site woefully inadequate to mitigate the harm done at times of the year when demand would be expected to increase.
Even if we accept The Transport Planning’s data for the Crescent Road development, it returns a parking stress of the surveyed streets equating to 95%. Section 4.4 of the Crescent Road survey states:
“Combining the Parking Beat Survey results and the parking demand associated with the development (estimated at 4 extra spaces), the average parking stress increases to 97%. This is over the typical threshold that triggers concern from the Local Highway Authority. However, the data highlights that there are enough spaces readily available, within a reasonable walking distance of the site. This situation is typical within the densely populated residential heart of Brighton and Hove.”
The densely populated residential heart of Brighton and Hove has a finite number of on-street parking spaces. In dismissing appeals, planning inspectors have given regard both to safety and air quality as motorists drive round looking for spaces as near to their homes as possible.
Paragraph 2.3 of the Crescent Road survey quotes The National Planning Policy Framework in relation to both “an unacceptable impact on highway safety” or “the residual cumulative impacts on the road network”
The cumulative impact if both the Carelet and the Crescent Road conditions on car-free housing are dropped would be very severe.
Yet there is a third application now under consideration in Round Hill BH2018/03222 at 3 Upper Lewes Road & 1A And 1B Wakefield Road Brighton BN2 3FJ [Erection of three storey rear extension to create 3no additional one bedroom flats] which proposes no off-street parking in Round Hill. Wakefield Road is a well used access in & out of Round Hill within 200m of the Crescent Road application site. This third application has the potential to generate some additional on-street parking demand.
See BH2018/03222 07 Nov 2018 Consulteee Comment TRANSPORT
How many developers are claiming the same spare parking spaces, which are clearly inadequate in number to provide the existing amount of spare capacity we need to enjoy a reasonable level of amenity. Planning Policy QD27 on Protection of Amenity used to justify car-free housing in BH2019/00072 states that Planning permission for any development or change of use will not be granted where it would cause material nuisance and loss of amenity to the proposed, existing and / or adjacent users, residents, occupiers or where it is liable to be detrimental to human health. Air pollution in our city is a known concern.
The existing amenity of The Round Hill residents depends on having sufficient spare capacity of on-street space to be able to close off a short street for a short period to hold community events. Since the implementation of our CPZ on Monday 1st July 2013, The Round Hill Society has held 23 Street Play events necessitating temporary street closure, mostly in Mayo Road, though one successful Halloween Street Play was held in Crescent Road. Previous to the CPZ we closed D’Aubigny Road for Samba Dancing and performances by local musicians. Mayo Road has also been closed for a dog show and Morris dancing. Many flat dwellers do not have access to gardens. Before assigning street an incredibly small percentage of spare capacity to more motor vehicles, it should be recognised that streets make up all our public open space in Round Hill. Without some spare capacity it becomes difficult for vehicles even to exchange places
The TRANSPORT document (See page 2) written for and on behalf of Highway Authority Brighton and Hove City Council relates to the third proposal BH2018/03222. Here there is reference to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Supplementary Planning Document SPD14 on Parking Standards.
This make it clear that decisions on car-free housing do not relate to spare capacity within the Area J zone as a whole. Impacts may include localised increases in demand for on-street parking which can cause highway safety risks and can have a negative impact upon the amenity of existing residents in the vicinity of the site, as competition for on-street spaces in a particular area may increase. Where there is potential for overspill parking, a parking survey is normally utilised to determine whether there is capacity on-street for the additional demand within close proximity of the site.
Both the Surveys fail to make any mention of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Supplementary Planning Document SPD14 on Parking Standards. There is no mention of the Key Public Transport Corridors outlined in SPD14
Section 5.2 of the Crescent Road survey makes the mistake of dealing with the area J zone as a whole, making no reference to the localised increases in demand described in SPD14.
Section 5.3 states that the 16/17 Parking Annual Report notes that, since 1st July 2014, there has not been anyone on the waiting list for a parking permit.
The TRANSPORT document, written for & on behalf of BHCC Highways Authority
contains more recent data about the Area J zone:
permit update during the year up until 5 Nov 2018 averages 92%
Given the potential variance in uptake across a CPZ, where permit uptake is over 80% over the previous 12 months, no additional overspill parking is permitted without a supporting parking survey
SPD14 suggests the consideration of the implementation of car free housing for developments where the impact of overspill parking is considered unacceptable. These impacts may include localised increases in demand for on-street parking which can cause highway safety risks and can have a negative impact upon the amenity of existing residents in the vicinity of the site, as competition for on-street spaces in a particular area may increase.
Where there is potential for overspill parking, a parking survey is normally utilised to determine whether there is capacity on-street for the additional demand within close proximity to the development.
In lieu of a parking survey, the Highway Authority utilises permit uptake data to assess parking occupancy levels within CPZs. Given the potential variance in uptake across a CPZ, where permit uptake is over 80% over the previous 12 months, no additional overspill parking is permitted without a supporting parking survey.
Permit uptake within Zone J over the 12 months averages 92%. Therefore, it is recommended that the all of the residential development is made car free and that this is secured by condition. Should the applicant wish to undertake a parking survey demonstrating there is sufficient capacity, or a parking demand assessment demonstrating there is no increase in demand compared to the existing use then the Highway Authority may reconsider.
The Special Planning Document called for under policy CP9 of Brighton and Hove City Plan Part 1 (24th March 2016) is the current set of parking standards SPD14: see page 5 on the zonal approach and pages 6 & 7 on car-free housing. The policy which Carelet's Technical Report ignores - pages 6 & 7 of SPD 14 October 2016 creates opportunities for sustainable modes. In relation to car-free housing. Page 6 and the map on P22 near the end of SPD 14 October 2016 defines a Key Public Transport Corridors zone outlined in purple. See SPD14 P22.
The path of the coastways railway between London Road and Moulsecoomb stations falls within the purple zone, as do Carelet's 6 new homes, the 4 new homes in Crescent Road and the three proposed new flats at the junction of Wakefield Road and Upper Lewes Road. . As well as being well served by London Road Station, Round Hill is also well served by local bus services (Nos 26, 46, 50 and 79(weekends) on Ditchling Road and 23, 24, 25, 48, 49, 50 and 78(weekends) on Lewes Road. Many Round Hill residents are well used to walking to London Road Station (mentioned on page 6 of SPD14) on their way to and from work.
Both Surveys written on behalf of developers whose application sites are a short distance apart are highly selective in the appeal decisions they quote. It is easy to quote appeal decisions which don’t relate to Round Hill. They can go either way.
The Planning Inspector takes a different line in his decision Appeal Ref: App/Q1445/A/14/2222561 dated 23rd October 2014
At least, the main issue of this dismissed appeal is whether the disputed condition on car-free housing is necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects, and the effect of removing the condition on the aims of policies which seek sustainable forms of development.
It is easy to quote appeal decisions in both directions, but each is given in the context of a different application site and different levels of impact. However, occasionally they reference factors which are very relevant to policy building.
The Transport Planning Company makes great play of stating there is no waiting list for parking permits in the the Area J zone (taken as a whole!) Paragraph 10 and 11 of Appeal Ref: App/Q1445/A/14/2222561 dated 23rd October 2014, state:
10. Lastly the appellant draws attention to the fact that there is no waiting list for permits in the appropriate controlled zone. This is not disputed by the Council. The appellant takes this to indicate that there would be no harm were the condition to be removed. However, the aims of the policy are not just to prevent harm through over-subscription of scarce parking bays, resulting in wasteful and damaging touring round to find a space, but to address on a city- wide basis the harm that can be caused through increased use of cars. As an example, the sort of trip mentioned, to a primary school, can cause congestion at the school and add to the risks of crossing roads.
11. In conclusion, the development has been permitted without parking and this is in line with Policy HO7 and makes best use of land in an accessible location. To ensure that the development stays genuinely car-free, in line with the policy aims and those of national policies on reducing the need to travel, it is necessary and reasonable to prevent occupiers being able to obtain a parking permit, notwithstanding that there appears to be no waiting list. Harm would occur to the aims of sustainable development, and particularly the environmental dimension, in removing the condition, which is also relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable and precise. For the reasons given above it is concluded that the appeal should be dismissed.
“This is whether the disputed condition is necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects, and the effect of removing the condition on the aims of policies which seek sustainable forms of development.”
The decision to dismiss the appellant’s request for a car-free condition to be removed therefore closely follows the six tests which form the overriding parameters for the use of conditions in the Government's Guidance.
Check update [15 June 2018] as things are being made easier for developers, but review all content since it would be idiotic to allow unlimited parking stress.
The policy unmentioned in both Reeves Transport Planning - SPD14 on car-free housing - allows developments which would otherwise not be approved. SPD is therefore helpful in providing new homes. It has to single out new development, because you cannot go on adding extra and expect a transport infrastructure to operate smoothly when parking stress is already sufficiently severe to affect the health and amenity of an already densely populated neighbourhood.
Why should we want to breath in more fumes and compromise safety to raise money for the Council to create sustainable transport projects elsewhere?
Sustainable modes and criteria for car-free housing are defined very clearly in SPD 14.
The National Planning Policy Framework highlights:
BHCC’s SPD14 looks at each development case by case, highlighting:
The criteria badly need to be applied in Round Hill. Our neighbourhood does not equate with the whole of the Area J zone. The approach in SPD14 is case by case.
It is reassuring that BHCC's Highways Authority is well aware of policy SPD14, which gives BHCC the power to address localised increases in demand for on-street parking within parking zones in severe circumstances. When three developers are chasing ‘imaginary spare capacity’ in streets where the the maximum acceptable parking stress of 90% has already been exceeded, then this is time to apply SPD14 rather than to trust surveys which are incomplete in their policy backgrounds and optimistic in their estimates. The survey for just one of the three applications mentioned - BH2019/00072 Land to the rear of Crescent Road alone - offers mitigating paragraphs to soften findings that local parking stress is already 95% and would rise to 97% if permits for 4 more parking spaces (and this is just an estimate) were added.
I urge Brighton and Hove City Council to defend policy SPD14 and retain carefully considered car-free conditions.
Land to the rear of Crescent Road: click on the picture for an analysis from Dominic Furlong on inaccurate use of figures in the parking survey for application BH2019/00072.
How residents conducted their own parking beat survey in 2010 to win Round Hill's first car-free condition.
Surveys should cover a 200m to 400m area
It is also extraordinary that in relation to BH2018/00881 the 6 tall houses to the rear of 67-81 Princes Road just two streets (Princes Road and Mayo Road) were surveyed RE demand generated from Carelet's 6 three-storey houses while eight streets were surveyed n relation to BH2019/00072 the smaller Crescent Road development expected to generate demand for half as many on-street spaces.
Past Carelet surveys have surveyed up to 400M. A 200M survey would include most of Crescent Road, as the brown shading in the following survey conducted by local residents in 2010 shows. Carelet underestimated demand on this occasion too and their appeal against refusal was dismissed in 2011 on parking grounds alone.
As few as "just two" off-beat surveys on quiet dates are unlikely to impress planning inspectors [see LINK].This page was last updated by Ted on 03-Jul-2020