|Residents Want To Halt Paving Front Gardens For Parking|
They say too many 'dropped kerbs' change the character of the area
Residents in a Chiswick street have complained that the increasing number of 'dropped kerbs' used for off-street parking is going to destroy the character of their road and have called on Hounslow Council to review its policy on crossover parking.
A meeting of the Chiswick Area Forum heard that the majority of residents in Wilmington Avenue, in Grove Park are concerned about front gardens being converted into parking spaces with 'dropped kerbs' appearing more frequently in their road.
An example of a dropped kerb in Wilmington Avenue
They said the Edwardian character of their street, a mix of terraced and semi-detached houses without garages, is being affected and they are unhappy about front gardens being lost from an environmental and an aesthetic perspective.
Of the fifty or so houses surveyed in the street, thirty-five were strongly opposed to crossover parking, a resident told the Chiswick Area Forum (March 19). One was strongly pro-crossover parking while others either abstained as they already had dropped kerbs, or felt they did not want to become involved in the issue.
One local resident told ChiswickW4.com that it was mainly a problem at one half of the road.
"Its a great street to live in, and I hope it doesn't cause neighbours to fall out with each other, but it's really annoying some of the residents and they're afraid it's going to get worse. You can find a space to park on the road during the day but when people come home in the evening, parking can be difficult to find close to your own house," she said.
The residents say that pressure on parking spaces is likely to increase after the introduction of a CPZ for Park Road and Staveley Road.
“The issue is not simply about the practicalities of parking but of aesthetic and environmental concerns,” according to David Rust, who spoke on behalf of the residents to the Chiswick Area Forum. A petition submitted by the group to the Mayor last November was referred back to the Forum for discussion.
The group also complained that there did not seem to be any system in place to check whether a vehicle would fit into the off-street parking space- 4.8m was the recommended width but there were instances where vehicles overhung the pavement or their owners parked on a white line.
Planning regulations in conservation area which were designed to ensure the aesthetics of the area did not seem to apply to the front gardens of properties, they claimed.
Mr. Rust said that the planning rules made even removing small trees in a back garden subject to stringent conditions but “ripping out front gardens and laying barren areas of grey flags” was apparently not considered detrimental.
Cllr Gerald Mc Gregor commented ; "We are being foolish if we allow unfettered crossover parking, and the environmental damage all over London from people paving front gardens will lead to flooding in places where it was never a problem before."
The meeting heard that the policy on crossover parking was last reviewed in 2004 and that Hounslow Highways, the new contractor for the borough, had offered to review it.
A resident of Wavendon Avenue told the Chiswick Area Forum that a number of gardens in her area and surrounding streets had been torn out and given over to hard surfacing. Gardens were being stripped and replaced with slate and other inappropriate materials throughout Chiswick and the problem was not just confined to Wilmington Avenue.
Councillors unanimously agreed to ask the Council to review the policy on crossover parking and bring in updated guidelines. They also recommended that local decisions on off-street parking be taken by the Chiswick councillors at the Forum and not at Council level.
March 20, 2013