The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth regarding proposals for five locations in the Chester-le-Street area to introduce parking and waiting restrictions, and electric car charging bays for one of the locations (for copy see file of Minutes).
The Head of Transport and Contract Services, Dave Wafer informed the Committee that several requests had been received from local residents and representatives of Durham County Council to address issues in Chester-le-Street as follows:
The proposal for the Holmlands Park Estate: Holmlands Park, Eardulph Avenue, Lindom Avenue, Lindisfarne Avenue, Roman Avenue and St Cuthbert’s Avenue, was to introduce a controlled ‘Permit Holders Only’ Area within the streets to address obstructive parking and improve accessibility throughout the estate.
There were 24 objections and 123 responses in favour of the proposals, all from local residents.
The proposal for Oakdale Terrace would see an amended timeframe for existing ‘Permit Parking’ restrictions on Oakdale Terrace from ‘Mon-Sat, 1011am, 2-3pm’ to ‘Mon-Sat, 11am-1pm, 4-6pm’ to improve accessibility for residents and address a change in parking patterns.
There was one objection and one response in favour of the proposal.
The proposal for Hilda Park was to introduce ‘no waiting at any time’ restrictions on the junction from Hilda Park onto Pelton Lane to improve accessibility and address obstructive parking.
There were three objections to the proposals.
The proposal for Hilda Terrace was to introduce ‘no waiting at any time’ restrictions on the junction from Hilda Terrace / Glenmore Avenue onto Pelton Lane to improve accessibility and address obstructive parking.
There were no objections and one representation in favour.
Burn Greens Car Park
The proposals came via a request from Durham County Council Officers to introduce two ‘Electric Vehicle Recharging Bays’ within the Burn Greens Car Park to facilitate access for electric vehicles.
There were no objections to the proposals.
The Chair thanked the Head of Transport and Contract Services and noted a local resident, Ms Penny Williams, was in attendance to speak in support of the proposals for Holmlands Park.
Ms P Williams thanked the Chair and Committee and explained she was speaking on behalf of the Holmlands Park Residents Association and confirmed the Associations approval of the scheme. She noted that over the past ten to twelve years, the issue of parking had been brought up at every residents’ meeting, adding that it was not surprising, given the long list of those that parked on the estate including: shoppers; shop workers; officer workers; train station users, both those that leave their cars all day and those that would leave their cars while going on holiday; teachers; lunch-time staff; extra-curricular staff; Sixth Form students; gym users; football classes; dog walkers; park goers; croquet players; bowlers; cricket supporters; park runners; church goers; walkers and joggers.
Ms P Williams explained that on the basis of all of those that parked on the estate it was ‘choc-a-block’ from 7.00am until, frequently, 9.00pm. It was added that any large event within the park could cause havoc, with vehicles dumped anywhere. She noted that one organiser, Stanley Events, in terms of their annual fireworks event within the Riverside Park area, gave complete consideration to the estate and the Residents’ Association were extremely grateful for that.
Ms P Williams noted that if the Council had allowed 9.30am – 6.00pm permit parking for Chester-le-Street, as in Durham City, with time out for school collections, the residents would have found that to be perfect. She added that the Residents’ Association were aware that there were residents that objected to the proposal, many feeling that there should be no charge involved and already having a garage alongside the footpath. She noted that, however, a majority of 76 percent of properties were in favour, a huge number supporting the scheme, adding that the 24 percent included a number of properties that did not vote.
Ms P Williams reminded Members that the Holmlands Park Estate was surrounded by the Front Street, Park View School and the Riverside Park and added that while there was ample car parking provision, it was the cheaper option to use the housing estate as a free car park. She explained that caused a host of problems for residents, including the blocking of driveways and garages. She explained the issues in terms of funeral cars, with residents faced an additional burden when arranging a funeral in terms of arranging for Police cones, should the funeral cortege wish to leave from the deceased property. Ms P Williams noted issues in terms of access for emergency vehicles and explained on three occasions elderly residents had to be wheeled up to 50 metres to ambulances as they were unable to gain access. She noted she would hope fire appliances would simply bulldoze their way through if they were required. She explained that Council Refuse staff often had to wheel rubbish bins to the end of the streets or return at another time to collect them. The Committee were informed that the road sweeper was very rarely able to clean the gutters and the drain cleaner vehicle had to make multiple visits.
Ms P Williams explained that Park View School’s main entrance was on Church Chare, not on the estate, and added that there was adequate parking on site, with over 65 spaces.
She noted that when there was an event, the school suggested parking within the housing estate, rather than on the school site or the nearer town centre parking facilities. She added the school’s three minibuses often parked on the estate, usually on the ends of streets. Ms P Williams noted that the Headteacher of Park View School had suggested permit parking as a solution and would actively support that, however, the Residents’ Association noted no cooperation from the school.
Ms P Williams noted while residents wished for businesses to thrive, they did not feel it should be at the expense of the wellbeing of the estate and reiterated there was adequate car parks. She noted yellow lines that were installed after multiple accidents, one involving an elderly resident that required them to be cut from their car. She noted the line had been extended, however, that had been to no avail. She explained that the Residents’ Association was kindly asking the Committee to respect the wishes of 76 percent of properties on the estate and allow the estate to be just that, a housing estate and not a car park, making it safe for not only the many elderly residents, but all residents of the estate.
The Chair thanked Ms P Williams and asked the Committee for their comments and questions.
Councillor J Shuttleworth noted the majority of residents, 76 percent, supported the proposals and therefore he Moved the recommendation as detailed in the report.
Councillor S Dunn Seconded the recommendation as detailed in the report.
That the Committee endorse the proposals in principle to proceed with the implementation of the Chester-Le-Street: Parking and Waiting Restrictions Order. With the final decision to be made by the Corporate Director under delegated powers.