Orchard Road Residents Cry Foul Over Parking Provision

Claim council has reneged on pledge to restore spaces

Orchard Road residents protest at the closed car park
Orchard Road residents protest at the closed car park


Residents Win Concessions Over Orchard Road Housing Scheme

Parking Space Squeeze Feared Due to Orchard Road Housing Plan

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A residents’ group representing people living around Orchard Road are claiming that the council has failed to deliver on promises to restore parking provision following the development of a car park.

It says that the plans provided by the council fall way short of what was pledged when permission was given to build housing on the site and that the borough may have made a statutory breach of planning conditions.

The council said that 16 replacement parking spaces would be provided in the local vicinity to ensure that people living in the area still had somewhere to park. However, detailed surveys of the plans submitted by the council fall well short of this leading to a significant net loss of parking space according to the Orchard Road Residents Group (ORRG). It says that there is the equivalent of 17 car parking spaces on single yellow lines are being removed to provide this solution.

The development was approved just over a year ago but prior to the planning meeting the group took part in an online meeting with ward councillors Steve Curran, Theo Dennison and Katherine Dunne. As a result, an addendum report was included on the meeting agenda which stated that no part of the development can begin until replacement parking has been implemented, and that alternative off-road parking provision could be considered for, or as part of the minimum of 16 replacement spaces which the Council claims will be lost. Surveys by the Orchard Road group suggested the actual number of spaces lost was much higher as the car park was regularly near or above 90 per cent occupancy, especially at weekends.

Orchard Road car park
The former Orchard Road car park

The group says, ‘With the car park development, Hounslow Council promised to make up for the loss of 30 off-road parking spaces.

‘The supplying of 16 replacement spaces before work started was attached to the plans - a condition C12 of the planning consent for development of Orchard Road car park

‘But, we’ve found the one in Station Road is only 3.89m in length – far too short for a car, and way below the minimum standard of 4.5m to constitute an on road parking space, and 3 of the proposed spaces in Orchard Road haven’t yet been created.

‘More importantly, many of the parking spaces being provided are only part time replacements as they are replacing several areas of single yellow lines. So there is NO replacement parking for evening and weekends when the shortage of parking spaces in the area is at its worst. “

The car parking spaces being lost were available 24 hours a day. The Group point out that to be replacements these 16 spaces should be too.

In addition the new houses being built on the car park will not have parking spaces even for disabled residents and they will not be eligible for resident permits.

Visualisation of houses planned on Orchard Road car park

ORRG adds, ‘The new houses will have visitors coming by car, they may have elderly residents – so it’s clear the new houses will add to traffic levels in the area, despite what Hounslow Council says.

‘The Mayor’s Planning Guidance is quite clear. It states that any developments “should particularly avoid generating unacceptable pressure on Street parking. This may be especially important in suburban areas and areas of family housing.”’

The Group is calling on all candidates in the relevant wards to publicly declare they are backing the campaign to make the Council stop work until the replacement parking spaces have been provided.

It has set up a petition to call for the council to change its mind which, at the time of writing, had over 100 signatures.

Councillor Hanif Khan, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said, “The planning consent required the provision of a minimum of 16 bays to be provided in the vicinity and that requirement has been met. The changes equate to a net gain of 14 resident parking spaces and 2 shared-use parking spaces, thereby conforming with the minimum requirement of the Orchard Road car park planning condition. In addition, 4 electric vehicle charging bays and 1 car club bay will also be introduced in the wider CPZ.”

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March 25, 2022

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