Debate is triggered over charging of thousands of pounds for Norwich parking spots

PUBLISHED: 13:21 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:17 12 April 2018

James Wright, Norwich City Councillor for Eaton. Pic: Andrew Wright.

James Wright, Norwich City Councillor for Eaton. Pic: Andrew Wright.

Andrew Wright

Concerns have been raised over how some housing developers are charging thousands of pounds for people to have parking places.

Councillors raised the issue as they discussed an application for extra parking spaces at a retirement complex on the edge of Norwich.

McCarthy & Stone was granted planning permission in December 2016 for a development of retirement homes off Bluebell Road in Eaton, which are currently being built.

But officers at City Hall told a meeting of the council’s planning committee today that the developer wanted to add an extra eight parking spaces as a result of demand from prospective residents of the homes.

But James Wright, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaton, said one of the prospective tenants had told him the parking spaces were each to be sold for £7,000.

He said, if that was the case, then the developer should be expected to make an added contribution to traffic works in the area, if permission was granted.

And committee chairman, Labour’s Keith Driver, said he had concerns over how widespread such charging for parking spaces was and whether it could become a way for developers to push up their prices.

Officers said there were no planning controls to prevent developers from charging for parking spaces.

David Bradford, Labour councillor for Crome ward, said it had been common place for years for developers to put a premium on homes with their own private spaces.

Officers added that, through the community infrastructure levy - a charge on developers - there had been “significant contributions” made through the Bluebell Road scheme, including a new cycle path paid for by the developer.

A decision on whether to grant permission for the extra parking spaces was deferred until the next meeting of the planning committee.

Councillors have asked officers to get further information about visitor parking at the development.

This newspaper reported in December how parking spaces at the Sentinel House flats development in Surrey Street, in Norwich city centre, were being sold to residents for £15,000 a year.

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