Agenda item


The Service Manager – Housing Management and Home Ownership to present a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to adopting a Policy for the Allocation of Surplus Car Parking Spaces.


 (1)       That the Council reviews and adopts the Policy for Allocating Surplus Car Parking Spaces Provided by the Council Housebuilding Programme; and


(2)        That the Council adopts and implements the allocation and eligibility criteria including the advertising, selection/allocation, licencing/charging of parking permits and enforcement of surplus car parking spaces.



Deborah Fenton, Service Manager, Housing Management and Home Ownership, presented a report and draft policy regarding the allocation of surplus car parking spaces provided by the Council Housebuilding Programme. She advised the Cabinet Committee that the policy aimed to bring clarity and consistency to how surplus car parking spaces from newly built Council housing developments could be allocated to local residents in the surrounding areas and managed by Council staff.   


The number of parking spaces provided to these Council housing developments would be determined by the parking standards in the emerging Local Plan, influenced by public transport accessibility and other local issues.


The Council were proposing that applicants to the new Council housing developments would be allocated car parking spaces in accordance with the parking standards as specified by the planning obligations.


The remainder of those car parking spaces, if applicable, would be advertised and allocated to residents in the surrounding areas of the development in accordance with the allocation and eligibility criteria which was specified in this report.


The application rules would also determine process of allocation, including payment and enforcement.


It should be noted that some of the Council housing developments may be car free schemes and in these cases, relevant details will be included in the s106 agreement. It was important that housing applicants were notified that these new developments were car free schemes and off-street parking spaces would not be allocated at any time. Alternative responses would be explored where applicable and may include working with car club providers.


The draft policy was attached to the Agenda starting on page 55.


Council N Avey stated that given all the parking problems in the district he really welcomed this initiative. He asked if people were offered and accepted a property in a development which had no provision for a car, would they then get accepted into this surplus car parking scheme.


D Fenton advised that some of the schemes would be car free and if there were no car parking spaces then the Council would not be able to allocate them. The Council were taking a holistic approach to what they were building and would not be building sites that will cause parking stress in the immediate area.


Councillor J Philip stated that the Council should be looking to construct sites that include additional parking, as stated in the Local Plan, to minimise the amount of traffic on the roads as the more car parking there was the more traffic there was. If there were any extra spaces on site this could be looked at to get another building on the site and not additional car parking.


Councillor D Wixley stated that parking was a problem and always would be but a lot of people who drive company utility vehicles and have to bring them home, there was a need for parking and these individuals were not allowed to use these vehicles for private use, so it has to be taken into account that these residents do need to be able to park as part of their work.


Councillor J Philip advised that one of the main contributors in the district for climate change was traffic and therefore the amount of cars that we have, I was not saying that the Council should build on sites with no parking provision but that no extra parking should be provided when constructing houses.



Councillor D Wixley asked if the provided parking spaces were going to have lockable barriers so that would ensure those who have permits for a particular space would be able to use that space, it would be secure and would solve the problem of somebody else parking there.


J Cosgrave advised that the extra parking spaces would have bollards so that they could be controlled.


Councillor C C Pond stated that he agreed with the recommendations, car free zones and car free developments but recently the residents of Joan Davis and Churchill Courts, the new development in Burton Road, Loughton were not adequately warned about the lack of car parking at these sites. I raised this issue at the last Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee meeting and officers advised that they would be looking into reallocating some of the car parking spaces in Torrington Drive to the residents of Joan Davis and Churchill Courts as this was causing considerable distress to the residents.


The housing allocation officers need to strongly advise new or prospective residents of Council properties that have none or very little parking as after speaking with residents of Joan Davis Court they advised that it was only a passing comment which was given orally, they were given nothing in writing regarding the shortage of parking in their tenancy letters.


D Fenton advised that she would discuss this with the housing officers to see what processes they have in place going forward. In terms of Torrington Drive officers were still working on that and we are planning to allocate some parking spaces. Rachel Smith was the officer dealing with that task and I will ask her to update you.


Councillor N Bedford asked if the Council could look at designing out the problem on the kerb parking. On an estate in North Weald residents are given an allocated amount of parking but still end up parking on the pavements. We need something put in place to stop people parking on the pavements.


J Cosgrave replied that this was a national problem as Council estates were designed pre extensive car use. Raising the kerbs was a practicable solution, but if the cars were not parking on the kerb they would find somewhere else to park which was displacement. It was a complicated matter, some households could accommodate off street parking, even some of the freehold houses but looking at the costs that Essex County Council charge to put in a dropped kerb was very high and that was something I would like to engage in with Essex County Council to try to make some of these solutions more affordable and cost effective.




(1)        That the Council reviews and adopts the Policy for Allocating Surplus Car Parking Spaces Provided by the Council Housebuilding Programme; and


(2)        That the Council adopts and implements the allocation and eligibility criteria including the advertising, selection/allocation, licencing/charging of parking permits and enforcement of surplus car parking spaces.


Reasons for Decision:


It was agreed previously that these surplus car park spaces should remain unallocated. However, since these developments are mainly in (not exclusively) internal private, unadopted court yards, it has been assessed that this may lead to anti-social behaviour and community tensions. Therefore, adoption of an allocation procedure that would better provide long term control, a more secure and safer environment was recommended.


Other Options Consider and Rejected:


To continue to leave those surplus car parking spaces unallocated. This may lead to loss of community engagement and support because of the potential for anti-social behaviour problems these unallocated spaces may attract.

Supporting documents: