Controversial parking permit plans tipped for approval despite objection
PUBLISHED: 13:08 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 12 December 2019
Plans to hand out new parking permits on a busy Norwich street have been tipped for approval, despite objection.
Norwich City Council's Highways Agency is set to meet on December 19 to decide on a bid for the six permits on St Matthews Road, off Riverside Road.
It relates to a new development of six flats at the former old Gem Printers, on the corner of Rosary Road, which was approved in 2007.
At the time, the council acknowledged there was already "existing pressure" on parking permits.
But work had largely stalled until last year, when developers M&A Norfolk Ltd took over and applied for the six permits, which had been suggested in the original planning permission.
Since then, though, the council has introduced a policy which excludes new-builds from the permit scheme, to avoid placing pressure on available spaces.
It has prompted some residents on the road to come together to object to the bid, saying it would make parking a nightmare.
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But in the papers, published ahead of next week's meeting, planning officers said: "The development has been progressed by the local developers on the expectation that there was possibility of the new residents having access to permit parking.
"The objections of residents concerning an increased upon parking pressures is noted. However the former use of the site by commercial premises would have also resulted in [nine business permits being issued]."
They said 33pc of households on St Matthews Road do not have cars, and said officers had conducted site visits at 9pm on weekday evenings, when they said there were "a number of free parking spaces on St Matthews Road and Chalk Hill Road".
And they added that there are three Car Club locations nearby. If approved, the application would also see a former waiting bay opposite the new flats converted into permit parking.
In total, six objections were raised by residents, as well as by Ben Price, a city councillor in the area, who objected but said the potential change of the waiting bay into a permit space would be a "reasonable compromise".
The officers recommended the committee approve one permit per new flat, access to the visitor scheme and a consultation on converting the waiting bay to a permit parking space.