'93% of Grove Park / Strand on The Green Residents Reject Council’s CPZ Plans'

Anti CPZ residents' group conduct own poll and compile 2,000 signature petition

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A number of residents of Grove Park and Strand on the Green were so alarmed by what they saw as one-sided Council plans to introduce a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) they decided to conduct their own poll. The results showed 93.2% against a CPZ.

The campaigning group 'No CPZ' presented their findings to Cllr. Colin Ellar, Mayor of Hounslow, in the form of a petition containing more than 2,000 signatures.

The ‘No CPZ’ group was formed as a direct result of the most recent Consultation Meeting at St. Michael’s Church, Grove Park, on 26th January.

The group say they felt that Hounslow Council’s interpretation of previous consultations didn’t truly reflect local opinion, so they set out to meet as many residents as possible. They collected 2,310 responses, (the Jan 2010 Council consultation received 1,634 replies), and more than 93% of those polled signed to say they do not want any form of CPZ in the area. Total signatures against a CPZ were 2,152.

Ronan Barry, co-chair of the ‘No CPZ’ group, explained: "The introduction of a CPZ is in effect a tax for living in our area; the initial cost of the scheme will be £100,000. The overwhelming feeling of those we spoke to in person was that the plans will spoil the special character of where we live, much of which has Conservation status. But even though a huge majority of people don’t want it, the Council seem bent on bringing it in anyway, which threatens to divide a tolerant and friendly community. And there will actually be less space to park on the streets that our Council Tax has already paid for”.

There is a parallel proposal for all four shopping areas, so the group also petitioned all shopkeepers: 36 out of 39 do not want the scheme.

The group has also highlighted the lack of suggested alternatives. In 2004, 39 residents of Elmwood Road in Grove Park lobbied the Council for controlled parking in their road, and Hounslow Council has only ever supported a blanket CPZ for the area as a result. In a communication to the group from Mohsen Nekouzad of Hounslow Council’s Developments and Parking, stated: “As a rule we do not embark on consultations unless there is demand.”

The group believe their results suggest that there is no great demand.

Hounslow Council’s official Report compiled from its January 2011 round of consultations will be published on 11th April, in advance of the Planning Meeting of April 19th, at which nine Councillors will decide whether the CPZ scheme gets the go ahead.

Jonathan Knight, of the No CPZ committee, summed up: “What has surprised us is the strength of feeling across such a large number of people that this issue has inspired. It shows that the ‘silent majority’ cannot be taken for granted. The CPZ is a planning initiative. If any other planning proposal in a Conservation area received this much opposition it would never be given approval."

He continued, "We urge the nine councillors to vote against the introduction of a CPZ on April 19th. In these hard times, should we really be spending £100,000 of ratepayers’ money on such a divisive, destructive and ineffective scheme?”

April 12, 2011