In recent years, residents in the Butt Lane area have continued to raise their concerns about parking. Terraced Streets like Church Street, Wright Street, Skellern Street, Chapel Street, Glebe Street, Banbury Street and half of Woodshutts Street continue to become overburdened with vehicles. The issue is becoming exacerbated for a number of reasons.
These days, many families have more than one car per household and the majority of these homes do not have a driveway. There are also a number of businesses that continue to thrive in the local area. Growth in business equals more jobs for people in our community and we welcome this. The big problem is that businesses around here have little or no parking space for their employees or customers. People do not see any other option but to park in one of the streets mentioned above. This is causing community tension and continued upset for the people residing in the places previously mentioned.
Residents have asked local Councillors to look at what options are available to solve the parking crisis. We have recently asked Staffordshire County Councils Highways Community Liaison Officer, David Greatbatch for advice on what can be done to solve the current problem at hand. David has advised that Resident Parking Zones (RPZ) could be a potential solution, but there are all sorts of pros and cons with this. These are as follows:
- Some residents may not wish to pay the initial fee which funds the signing and lining costs of the scheme nor would they support annual payments for the parking permit(s).
- To avoid displacement to nearby streets the RPZ would extend beyond Church Street and Wright Street and in some instances, because residents of these added streets do not have a problem with parking they would not support the RPZ. However it may not be considered appropriate to continue without these streets included since the displacement would no doubt result in a future request for the RPZ to be extended.
- Displacement beyond the RPZ may still occur if those who work at the local businesses do not use alternative means of transport and therefore whatever the limits of the RPZ they will park beyond it.
- The number of permits given to each property may not be sufficient where multiple car ownership is present – permits available are based on the available spaces which in many cases along terraced streets means that parking can only be permitted on one side since we are unable to condone parking partly on the footway, which may take place currently to enable parking on both sides. This possible reduced parking availability is another reason why residents may not support the RPZ. The reason why a zone is chosen, in addition to deal with displacement, is to try to increase the available space – if calculations indicate that there is simply not enough on street space to allow one space per property the RPZ may have to be shelved.
- Another issue some residents have is that a permit for parking within an RPZ does not guarantee they can park outside their property – it merely allows parking within the zone.
- Local businesses may be entitled to a number of permits, but these would be limited and should reduce the number of vehicles parked in the RPZ area.
- The RPZ process requires appropriate levels of resident support throughout and if this is not present the scheme will be shelved. It is also one which will be added to many that have been requested throughout the borough area and there are at least two zones which have previously been prioritised which will need to be completed before any others can be considered for progressing.
For more information about RPZ schemes the following link will be of assistance:
So as you can see from the above information, there is no quick fix to the parking problems in the local area, but we must find a solution and together we will. We also need a strategy for Congleton Road. Staffordshire County Council has still failed to recognise the need for a full traffic survey in Butt Lane and refuses to recognise the severity of congestion on the A34. People living on Congleton Road also need to be able to park their cars safely, but without land, investment and commitment from the County Council – nothing will happen anytime soon.
If you’re a Butt Lane resident and you would like to discuss Resident Parking Zones with your Councillors, contact:
County Councillor John Taylor 01782 786227 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Robinson 07837905443 – email@example.com
Sylvia Dymond 07904569665 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Silvia Burgess 07906337215 – email@example.com
Butt Lane Post Office on Congleton Road is set to be updated to offer a new modern service that is convenient for it’s customers. As part of this programme of investment and modernisation some services will change, but the Post Office will be open for longer hours. If the changes go ahead the Butt Lane branch will be open Mon-Wed 9:00 – 18:30, Thu 09:00 – 17:30, Fri 09:00 – 18:30 & Sat 09:00 – 13:00 (Current opening times are : Mon – Fri 09:00 – 17:30 & Sat 09:00 – 12:30).
Customers will still have most of the products and services they’re used to, but some some services will no longer be available at this branch. Some Insurance services will no longer be available in branch due to Insurance becoming more widely available over the phone or online. Payment by cheque will also go now that the banks have agreed not to issue cheque guarantee cards. The Butt Lane branch may close for up to seven days during August/September 2015 while a refurbishment of the building takes place.
Cllr Kyle Robinson said: “I welcome the news that our local Post Office will get a complete overhaul to make it more accessible to local people. The Post Office is very well used in Butt Lane as the Pharmacy also helps to increase it’s footfall. I think it’s great that these businesses work alongside each other to offer an exceptional service in our community. The only concerns I have raised with Post Office Limited is the ending of payments by cheque. There is still a generation that prefer to pay by cheque and I have raised this with the area manager. Unfortunately, the banks have stopped issuing cheque guarantee cards so this makes it difficult for companies to accept a payment by cheque for fear of it bouncing should there be insufficient funds in a customers account.”
Taylor Wimpey has applied to reduce its affordable housing contribution from 25% to just 16% on its Mitchell Gardens development in Butt Lane. The developer has claimed that it’s controversial development of over 170 homes would not be financially viable if the company had to build the recommended quota of affordable homes. Residents have been left reeling after discovering the new plans submitted by Taylor Wimpey to Newcastle Borough Councils Planning Department two weeks ago.
Cllr Kyle Robinson said: “Taylor Wimpey have made a mockery of the residents in this town. Recent figures suggested that Taylor Wimpey’s order books for new homes is up 12 per cent from the same time last year to £1.9bn. This will equate to millions in profit for the company. How dare this company move into our Town, take up our green space and then plead poverty to wriggle out of its obligations to the people. The real victims of this scandal are the young families trying to get on the property ladder, but have no way of putting down a deposit on the majority of these luxury homes. There is a local and national affordable housing crisis and yet again the Government is letting developers walk all over communities. I strongly believe this latest move is a form of social cleansing in the making. If local land is to be developed for housing then local people should be given the opportunity to buy these homes at affordable rates. I have asked Newcastle Borough Council to implement an independent review of Taylor Wimpey’s claims that the development is not viable with 25% affordable properties included.”
Newly elected Butt Lane Councillor, Sylvia Dymond said: “There have been concerns for years that Taylor Wimpey would try and pull the wool over the eyes of local residents. We now see their true colours. The people of Butt Lane have been forced to sacrifice a huge amount of green space used by local people for many recreational activities. One of the criteria for approval of planning permission was that 25% of the development was affordable housing. We have accepted that housing is needed in the Borough and around the country, but this whole saga is a slap in the face for those locals looking to buy an affordable home on Mitchell Gardens. I don’t know how much more of this we can take as a community.”
You can object to the Taylor Wimpey proposals by using the reference 15/00441/DOAHR and visiting: http://publicaccess.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk/online-applications/