Parking ‘biggest issue’ in Hampton as council calls for action
Efforts are being made to tackle problem parking in the Hamptons after numerous complaints from residents.
The parish council wants to prevent Houses of Multiple Occupations (HMOs) of six properties or less being allowed to develop without planning permission which is said to be causing congestion and safety concerns.
The authority is asking Peterborough City Council to introduce an Article 4 direction which would mean smaller HMOs in Hampton Vale and Hampton Hargate would need planning permission which would allow issues such as parking to be raised and, potentially, used to refuse the application.
The parish council hopes to hear by the beginning of autumn whether it has been successful.
Its chair Cllr Karen Toynton-Ward insisted that the action it has taken is not to prevent necessary affordable housing being developed but a reflection of concerns among residents which includes for children walking to school.
She told the Peterborough Telegraph: “This is the issue we get the most complaints about on a day-to-day basis - people parking in front of people’s driveways, all over the place, and not very well.
“Hampton was not designed for cars. It should have been but it wasn’t. We have narrow roads with wide pavements so you can’t put two cars side-by-side on the road, so they’re parking on the pavement. Then we have people complaining who are disabled or they’ve got buggies.
“Back in the autumn of 2018 we had some approaches from parish residents who said there were a number of HMOs in various areas, some of which had two or three on the same street, and it was causing them an issue with parking.
“So we asked the city councillors if there was anything we could do. As legislation stands anyone can have an HMO up to six people without having to do anything. They don’t have to inform us, they don’t have to look at parking. Our residents felt that was not right and not fair.
“The city councillors said the only thing we could look at was an Article 4 direction which meant we would be able to at least comment on the lack of parking which would stop HMOs as they would have to have planning.
“We started down this route in October 2018 and we’re still doing it, with regular updates. We do believe it’s now up for debate.”
Currently, there are 61 HMOs in the parish council’s area.
Cllr Karen Toynton-Ward said problem parking in the past, including outside schools, has been tackled through a prevention and enforcement officer which they’re hoping to have re-introduced in the future.
She added: “We understand there is a lack of affordable housing and we don’t want to be a parish which says we don’t want any. We just want to make sure where they’re used is not in small, narrow streets where it’s not safe for our residents to walk their children to school.
“Anything we can do as a parish council to stop some of the parking issues we’ve got has to be a win-win.
“We will keep on at the city council until we get somewhere.”