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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 25/05/2004
East Street, Farnham - Parking



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to consider the implications, as a parking operator, of the level of public parking provision currently indicated for the redevelopment, as an input into the future planning process, taking into account:

• public need
• revenue expectations
• retail viability
• local planning policy
• national and county policies on car-use restraint
• traffic movement
• the local environment

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive



The appropriate level, location and cost of public parking within town centres should be provided to minimise traffic movement and congestion without compromising the social vitality and retail viability of those communities.

E-Government implications:

There are no implications in this report.


Resource and legal implications:

Legal implications are referred to at paragraphs 25 and 26 of the report. The future arrangements for the management of any parking provision at the East Street development will have resource implications and these will be the subject of a future report when this detail is known. Financial implications of this report are shown at paragraphs 6, 17-19 and 25-26.

Background

1. The original ‘Development Brief’ for the East Street Regeneration Scheme, for which the competitive design proposals were sought, included only the one Waverley Public Pay-and-Display (P & D) car park at Dogflud (228 spaces) and the privately operated temporary public car park on the former cinema site (75 spaces). It was further anticipated that the Waverley P & D car park, Riverside II (off Mike Hawthorn Way – 100 spaces), would ultimately be lost to its intended public housing use and recreational facilities displaced by the East Street Schemes. The net loss of parking spaces, arising from the development, therefore equated to approximately 400 spaces which the ‘Brief’ sought to replace on a ‘like-for-like’ basis, as a minimum provision i.e. no requirement was imposed for additional parking needs generated by the increased retail and social facilities and opportunities. This provision was considered to be the base level to be fed into the overall planning process.

Development Brief

2. The Development Brief under ‘Parking’ quotes:

“An initial assessment of parking lost to the development is in the order of 400 spaces; any provision should therefore begin at this level. In addition, the development itself will generate floorspace, which, in turn, will have a parking requirement. ……………. With regard to public car parking provision, the Council will expect the developer to re-provide a similar number of car parking spaces to that which currently exists within the site and at the Council’s nearby Riverside Car Park. The parking spaces may be re-provided within multi-storey car parks which must be sympathetically designed to accord with the townscape aspirations for the site. The Council will require an element of public car parking to be provided close to the existing sports centre which adjoins the site to the east. Following construction, it is envisaged that the car parks will be transferred to Waverley Borough Council and managed by it.”

3. The public parking referred to in the Brief is:-

Dogflud Car Park (WBC – P & D) 228 spaces
Former Cinema site (private operator)* 75 spaces
_______________
Total 303 spaces

Parking provision at Riverside II Car Park 100 spaces
_______________
Total to be re-provided, under the Brief 403 spaces

(*It has always been recognised though that this facility could be lost at any time, as it constitutes a temporary use on a potential development site.)

Successful Development Proposal

4. The Development Brief originally excluded the South Street (P & D) Car Park (224 spaces), which was constructed by Sainsbury on Waverley-owned land (see plan 1 on Annexe 1). It is managed by Waverley and all parking revenues are retained by the Council. The successful development proposal extended beyond the area of the Brief to include the area occupied by the Sainsbury Store and the South Street Car Park. The proposal includes the re-location of the Sainsbury Store within the development area and the re-development, for other purposes, of the South Street Car Park, which results in the further loss of 224 spaces not considered in the original assessment.

5. The public parking provision planned in the developing scheme remains at approximately 400 spaces. The 224 spaces at South Street Car Park will therefore be lost. The annual income, from this car park, to year-end 31st March 2003, including Excess Charge Notices, was 150,000. The capital receipt and revenue rental income anticipated from the scheme is expected to reflect an element to compensate for the loss of the freehold land of South Street Car Park and the loss of the car parking asset.

Implications of Planned Parking Provision

Financial

6. Unless any compensating actions are taken, the current development proposal will result in the reduction of overall public parking capacity in the extended East Street Regeneration envelope, from the current 527 spaces to 400 spaces. The number of revenue-earning WBC P & D spaces will be reduced by 52 from the current provision at Dogflud and South Street, representing an estimated reduction in annual car park income in the regeneration envelope of 23,500 at current performance levels and current tariffs. However, the Council will have the opportunity to review the tariffs in the light of the improved car parking facilities on the East Street site and will receive rental income from the commercial lettings.

Trading Impact

7. The future provision of public parking in the East Street area will be an important issue for the planning process, for existing and future traders, the developer and users in general.

8. Current planning policy requires that a balance is struck between minimising provision (as the availability of spaces generates traffic movements) and providing enough spaces to reflect the character and trading pattern of the centre. This will be an important issue for both the planning and highway authorities during consideration of the planning process.

9. In the meantime, your officers consider that alternative and compensating parking facilities should be sought. The development brief makes reference to moving towards a strategy of “park and walk” for the town. The concept involves providing car parks at suitable locations to intercept cars on routes into the town centre. The locations should also be a convenient walking distance into the centre. The East Street project could be a first step in implementing this concept.


Temporary Parking Provision

10. The redevelopment is expected to span a number of years. The sequence of construction is likely to result in shortages of parking capacity at times during that period. It is anticipated that although the developer will be encouraged to optimise temporary capacity within the site, this may not be sufficient. Off-site provision of additional parking, both temporary and long-term, should therefore have a part to play in compensating for the loss of on-street parking, short-term and long-term.

Riverside Site

11. The Riverside II Car Park (off Mike Hawthorn Drive) is of temporary construction and is sited on Housing Revenue Account (HRA) land which was expected ultimately to be developed for social housing purposes (see plan 2 in Annexe 1). A significant number of social housing units will now be included in the East Street development. It occupies an area of approximately 1/3 hectare. The site extends to a further 1.5 hectares, part of which is held by the General Fund and has been identified for relocation of the displaced recreational facilities, the tennis courts, and the bowling green should it eventually be decided to relocate these. The remainder of the site has been identified as suitable for provision of the additional public parking required during the construction period of the East Street Scheme and possibly in the longer term. The site can accommodate 300 spaces inclusive of the existing 100 temporary spaces. Planning consent has been sought for this use.

12. Should it be practicable, fundable and acceptable in planning terms, the provision of the additional 200 parking spaces on Riverside would result in an increase in the total number of available spaces in the locality, as set out below. It would also be suitably located for the “park and walk” strategy.

Existing ProvisionPossible Future Provision
South Street 224East Street Basement Car Park 400
Dogflud 228Riverside Site 300
Riverside II 100
Cinema Site 75
_____ _____
Total 627Total 700

13. In this event, the total number of spaces within the regeneration area and at Riverside, would be approximately 70 above the existing total. Alternatively, if the temporary ‘cinema’ site parking is excluded from the calculation, the net benefit would be approximately 150 spaces. However, the existing Riverside Car Park is currently poorly used due possibly to its remoteness from the retail centre, the Sports Centre and other facilities and its isolation from natural surveillance. It is bounded on one side by the river and on the other side by the rear of industrial premises. An extended Riverside car park would therefore require appropriate levels of lighting, CCTV surveillance, perimeter fencing, and modest tariffs to provide a customer-friendly environment and encourage its maximum use. The East Street basement car park should therefore be managed as a shoppers and other short-stay needs facility with tariffs and conditions of use structured to encourage all long-stay users into the extended Riverside Car Park.


Parking Restraint – The Policy Background

14. The Department for Transport advice on Local Transport Plans (LTPs) states:-

“… parking is likely to be a key element in managing demand for car use and all LTPs are expected to set out how parking policies are to be used to encourage motorists to use alternative means of travel, whilst recognising that for many people the car will remain the only feasible or preferred means of travel. Planning policies on parking need to minimise the level of parking associated with development ….”

15. Surrey County Council has drafted its own strategy in accordance with this advice, which has now been adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance in support of the Surrey Structure Plan. It provides a framework within which Waverley must produce its own parking management plans for each town centre. “A Parking Strategy for Surrey” (March 2003) seeks to:-

• control the supply of parking in new developments in order to support travel without using a car;

• encourage a reduction in workplace parking, particularly by promoting alternatives to the car, for example, through Travel Plans;

• regulate the cost and availability of public spaces to give higher priority to short-stay parking in town centres in support of the local economy;

• regulate on-street parking through residents’ parking schemes e.g. through controlled parking zones; and

• limit the provision of car parking within larger residential developments to facilitate development at higher densities in urban areas.

16. However, the strategy does encourage parking management plans which reflect the diversity of conditions and available solutions in each town. Your officers are currently involved in early work on car parking strategies for each of Waverley’s towns. However, some early conclusions can be advanced for the East Street area.

Financial Implications and Risk Analysis

17. As referred to earlier in the report, the current planned reduction in spaces in the East Street regeneration envelope could result in a loss of income of 23,500 and this is detailed in Annexe 1. However, a review of tariffs or the provision of car parking spaces at the Riverside site would generate additional revenue which could exceed this loss. The development should also yield the Council a significant revenue stream in the longer term which will contribute towards the Council’s revenue budget.

18. A reduced number of car park spaces in Farnham could limit the number of visitors to the new development and the existing facilities including the Council’s leisure centre which may result in a loss of income to the Council.

19. The capital cost of constructing 300 permanent car parking spaces at the Riverside site will be reported to a future meeting when the details are known following the planning approval process. These spaces will generate additional annual income. The capital cost would need to be funded from the capital receipt from the East Street development. As the net value and date of the receipt are not yet known at this stage, there is a risk that if the East Street development fails or is delayed considerably, the Council may have to finance these costs from an alternative source and review its current capital programme.

An Evolving Strategy for the East Street Area

20. St. James (83 spaces) and Riverside I (59 spaces) are located off Dogflud Way in a position which will be convenient for short-stay needs in relation to the regenerated East Street area. These are currently managed as long-stay car parks with tariffs structured accordingly. Occupation levels are currently 95 to 100% largely with commuter (shop and office staff) use. In the new environment of East Street it would be desirable to displace this long-stay use to the more appropriate location of the upgraded and expanded Riverside II Car Park. This can be achieved by restructuring the tariffs in St. James and Riverside I. This would release capacity to meet the short-stay and medium-stay needs of the new development and compensate, in part, for the loss of shopper parking in the East Street ‘footprint’.

21. The current proposal for replacement parking provision within the envelope of the East Street Regeneration area results in a reduction in short-stay and medium-stay parking compared to that which currently exists. The proposal to redevelop the Riverside II Car Park (a 500 metre walk from the centre of the proposed town square) will provide new long-stay capacity and permit the redesignation of St. James and Riverside I (off Dogflud Way) to help meet the parking needs of the development.

22. Additional long-stay demand is expected to arise from the planned introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone in the area adjacent to East Street, which Surrey County Council estimates will displace approximately 110 vehicles. Riverside II will also have a valuable role in providing capacity for short and medium-stay users displaced by the construction works, over a number of years.

23. A significant change such as this, in the parking regime, will need to be monitored and reviewed to ensure a speedy response to any negative impacts or unforeseen implications.

24. The choice of appropriate tariff structures in the new East Street Car Park and re-designation of St. James and Riverside I should ensure that there is no detriment to the Council’s overall parking income revenue stream.

Other Resource Issues

25. The site of the current Riverside II car park (shown in plan 2, Annexe 1) should be appropriated from the Housing Revenue Account to the General Fund as early as possible in order to aid the implementation of this new strategy. The land is held for housing purposes and it is necessary to formally resolve to appropriate it for other general purposes, in accordance with Section 122 Local Government Act 1972.

26. Under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, the Council must seek a determination from the Secretary of State regarding valuation and accounting treatment for this appropriation. Whilst this should be a formality, officers will report back to the Executive if there are any further implications arising from this.

27. The site is currently used as a car park and the original use for which the land is currently held is for social housing which will be provided within the East Street development.

Recommendation

That the Executive:

1. agrees, in principle, that the maximum parking provision of 300 spaces at the Riverside site, Farnham should be on a permanent basis to meet the needs of the long-stay user and the short-stay user displaced by the East Street Regeneration;

2. requests officers to report back on the capital cost of the works and seeks approval to earmarking the funding from the future East Street capital receipt;

3. agrees that the loss of the South Street Car Park short-stay capacity of 224 spaces be compensated for by the restructuring of the management of St. James and Riverside I and the choice of appropriate tariff structures for the proposed East Street and Riverside II Car Parks; and

4. approves, subject to the determination from the Secretary of State, the appropriation of the Riverside II land, under Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972, from use for purposes in accordance with the Council’s function as Local Housing Authority to use for general purposes of the Council.


Background Papers (DoE&L)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


CONTACT OFFICERS:

Name: Mr S Thwaites Telephone: 01483 523463
E-mail: sthwaites@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Mr R Ellks Telephone: 01483 523411
E-mail: rellks@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Mr B Long Telephone: 01483 523253
E-mail: blong@waverley.gov.uk




comms/executive/2004/2005/025