Common land at Weyhill has received consent to be re-surfaced. Has @WaverleyBC sought consent for a car park?

From the WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL CAR PARK REVIEW, August 2011, here’s a description of the Weyhill Car park (see pages 45, 46 and 47)

 

Weyhill Car Park (Fairground)

This car park is common land owned by Waverley. It is situated in Wey Hill, (B2131), Hindhead Road, Haslemere and bounded by public highways, the Waterloo Portsmouth main railway line and commercial and residential development. An active SCC Youth Centre adjoins part of the site. There are two entrances to this car park. A Bring Site is in operation at the entrance to the side of the car park at St Christopher’s Road. There is a bi-annual right to use the common land for a fairground, which needs to be considered in any proposals to change the current arrangements. The land is unsurfaced, with no parking bays marked. Parking may take place free of charge, largely because the surface is in poor condition. Waverley has been granted permission from the Department of the Environment for consent under section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to refurbish the existing car park on the common land at Weyhill.

 

Due to its close proximity to the rail station and being free of charge, this car park is a popular venue for commuter parking on a Monday through to Friday and fills rapidly each day. In order to maintain some space for shoppers, the car park has been divided with a smaller section closed each evening and opened after the morning rush hour. This approach has proved to be an effective one, but currently relies upon the goodwill of a local trader who operates the barrier.

 

The demand for a parking space exceeds supply. Occasionally vehicles are blocked in, because there are no markings to direct motorists where to park and no control over this.

 

Complaints have been received about the poor condition of the surface being uneven, muddy and with trip hazards particularly during the winter months. The condition of the car park is made worse, as the land is being heavily used as a waste collection point on a Saturday morning. The damage caused by this activity is evident. There are safety concerns, as the process is not an organised one and waste material is abandoned.

 

Proposals to improve the surface of the car park and to introduce a charging regime have been considered over a number of years, and a feasibility study and cost appraisal commissioned in January 2008. A full upgrade (involving complete resurfacing with tarmac, introduction of lighting, ticket machines, etc.) at that time would have cost approximately £915,000. Officers were tasked with exploring alternative, lower-cost options.

 

The engineering team have now developed and costed a scheme that takes account of the need for a permeable surface to address flooding and drainage issues and incorporating 130 spaces. The proposed surface would be ‘Truck Pave’ heavy duty Ecotile; possibly the highest strength recycled plastic unit on the market, with tarmac ‘aprons’ around the margins. The ongoing use of the site by the fair was a fundamental consideration in formulating this design.

 

The proposal will reflect the current arrangements in that the western end of the car park is earmarked for short-stay, ‘shoppers’ spaces, with the remaining spaces being allocated as long stay. The split of space, (76 long stay and 54 short stay) may need to be refined according to usage.

 

To protect any investment in the structure of any new surface at this site, consideration should be given to ceasing the weekly waste collection activity or relocating it. The car park at Weydown Road may provide a suitable but smaller location for this.

 

There is merit in investing in improvements to Weyhill Car Park with a view to imposing a charge for parking there. It is evident that the parking at Weyhill now requires control and management to ensure the space is being used correctly. The length of stay may be regulated and it will remove the need for the operation of the manned barrier at the smaller ‘shoppers’ car park.

 

The introduction of charging at Weyhill car park may increase pressure on local residential roads. It is important therefore that any proposals to change the approach to off-street parking is accompanied by a commitment from SCC to review, and implement changes to the current approach to on-street parking at the same time.

 

Recommendation Q: To refurbish the car parks at Weyhill and introduce charges for both long and short stay parking

 

In addition to the above information, you may be interested to read Waverley Borough Council’s Capital Draft Programme (published October 2011), regarding the project for the Refurbishment of Weyhill (Fairground Car Park) and introduction of fees and charges. You can download it from:

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/5205/download_appendix_d_annexe_1_gf_draft_capital_programme

Progress to date (including position regarding planning permission):

At its meeting on the 11th October 2011, Waverley Borough Council approved the recommendation to refurbish the car parks at Weyhill and introduce charges for both long and short stay parking. Waverley has been granted permission from the Department of the Environment for consent under Section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to refurbish the existing car park on common land at Weyhill.

If anyone has any knowledge of common land and its use or limitations please share your thoughts with www.haslemereparking.com.

If Waverley has been granted permission to refurbish registered common land could the council seek permission for use of the land as a multi-storey car park?

Does anyone think that the Weyhill site would be generally less intrusive than the station site (obviously St Christopher’s Road residents would not think so) but the present state of the Weyhill car park is hardly a credit to the town?

What does everyone else think?

12 comments for “Common land at Weyhill has received consent to be re-surfaced. Has @WaverleyBC sought consent for a car park?

  1. Editor
    26/02/2012 at 15:45

    On twitter, @IanMoodieUK writes: interesting how @WaverleyBC describe Weyhill carpark, understood it was common land left to people of Haslemere. Feb 26, 4:06 AM

  2. 27/02/2012 at 12:22

    That parking area may not be great but it works and that £915,000 would be better used to make a start on a proper car parking building at Station or on the land they just cleared where the motor cycle shop was before you take away spaces that are clearly in great demand.

  3. Antony
    27/02/2012 at 23:21

    To be fair to them the cost in the capital application is £325k, not £915k. The larger figure seems to be a previous proposal which was rejected. Unfortunately that is the only positive thing I can find in the proposal.

    It’s in there but they seem to obfuscate the fact that the current 200 spaces will be reduced to just 130 spaces, of which only 74 will be long term.

    Sure they’ll have nice white lines but a 35% reduction in parking at significant cost hardly seems like an improvement in an area that is currently short of parking. Surrey CC, should be fighting tooth and nail to stop Waverley taking such a crazy proposal forward (if they really want to improve the parking situation in Haslemere as has been claimed.)

    This extra change can only put further stress on the parking situation and so should also be stopped. I would be very interested to understand the meaning of “Common Land” here. It would seem strange if a somebody, even a council, could turn a profit by renting out such land.

  4. 28/02/2012 at 15:56

    My understanding is that the Fairground site in Weyhill is owned by the people of Haslemere and not Waverley BC. I have searched the Land Registry Site and it does not seem to be listed. Does anyone have any further information?
    I have a feeling Haslemere is about to be shafted again as it was with St Bart’s infant School and the old swimming pool.

  5. Editor
    29/02/2012 at 09:46

    Sent: 29 February 2012 9:43 AM
    To: ‘carole.king@waverley.gov.uk’
    Cc: ‘paul.wenham@waverley.gov.uk’; ‘editor@haslemereparking.com’
    Subject: Haslemere Parking and Waverley

    E-mail to: Carole King, councillor responsible for car parking at Waverley Borough Council
    cc: Paul Wenham, Paul Wenham, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer

    From, The Editor, haslemereparking.com

    Dear Carole

    I hope that you are well.

    For the past couple of weeks I’ve been involved with a volunteer project centred parking proposals for Haslemere. The project is a community website called http://www.haslemereparking.com. Its aim is to be an open forum for anyone to air their views, for or against, parking proposals in Haslemere. It’s been rather popular with 6,333 page views in our first 20 days.

    On the site recently, we talked about two parking issues that affect Haslemere residents: Waverley’s consent to re-surface the Weyhill car park and the decision by Waverley not to renew the fun fair licence.

    You may view the comments here on the forum. As you and Paul Wenham are mentioned I’d like to give you the chance to respond:
    http://haslemereparking.com/common-land-at-weyhill-has-received-consent-to-be-re-surfaced-has-waverleybc-sought-consent-for-a-car-park/
    http://haslemereparking.com/waverleybc-have-turned-down-application-for-a-fun-fair-licence-in-waitrose-car-park-citing-loss-of-income/

    These blog posts have caused some discussion in the forum and on Twitter too. I invite you to participate and respond to some of the residents’ comments. In summary, it seems the residents who have taken the time to comment do not seem terribly happy with Waverley Borough Council’s actions.

    Some questions that I have been asked outside the parking forum are listed below:

    Waverley’s plans for the Weyhill car park will cause further displacement that the Surrey County Council on street proposals allegedly seek to address. It has also been suggested to me that there should be a coordinated approach to parking between WBC and SCC and nothing should happen until a decision regarding a MSCP is made. Furthermore, given that the SCC on street car parking proposals have dominated the Haslemere Herald pages for the past four weeks, is it not insensitive on the part of WaverleyBC to work independently on a project that adversely affects commuter parking?

    As well as WBC seeming to be acting independently I ask whether you could let our forum’s readers know when you consulted the HTC, commuters, shoppers or local traders who will be very seriously affected by your proposals?

    Have you at any stage had discussions regarding the usage of the Weyhill car park for a multi-storey car park?

    I look forward to reading your reply and I will share your comments back into the forum for our readers to read and respond accordingly.

    Many thanks and best regards – volunteer Editor, haslemereparking.com

  6. haslemerian
    29/02/2012 at 12:19

    I agree with AndrewB. @SurreyCouncil and @WaverleyBC seem content to ignore the elephant in the room ie. that the Multistorey carpark for the station needs to get built. Elsewhere I read that there is a 6 (yes six) year waiting list for parking places at the station. Many businesses would be very grateful for an order book that big. It defies belief that the pent up demand cannot be capitalized upon.

  7. grayswoodcommuter
    29/02/2012 at 13:52

    I’ve heard the waiting list can even be 7 or 8 years or more – given that it moves so slowly it is possible for it of course to be infinity.

    However the station car park is not an easy solution. Anyone who commutes either hates or loathes South West trains (some admittedly just dislike them) and would be very concerned about another part of the commute being capitalised.

    Bearing in mind, if there was a multi storey at the station (which SWT won’t build until Councillor Renshaw agrees to double yellow every road within 5 miles of the station – hence the concern over their motives) that had loads of capacity, was easy to use and had a fair cap applied, with discounts for season tickets etc I would be in favour. Very much so.

    But that won’t happen. It will be at least the same as today – 6 or 7 pounds a day. Very quickly (or immediately) it will be a monopoly – just like the train service. We see how the tickets prices increase every 6 months / yearly well above all inflation measures.

    Very soon you’ll have a shabby multi storey car park with little maintenance (see the station as example – only the ticket barriers got investment (don’t get me started on the stangeways-on-legs bridge that no-one uses that is looking tatty), charging in excess of 10 pounds per day for a non secure car park experience.

    No thanks.

    Adrian

    PS The Wey Hill car park fiasco ought to also be a fight for the Haslemere Dump – a promised dustcart service when the town tip was close (on that car park site). Is that being quietly closed down..?

  8. AndrewLoves
    29/02/2012 at 21:05

    This little nugget caught my eye:

    “It’s been rather popular with 6,333 page views in our first 20 days” [haslemereparking.com]

    Councillor Carole King, and Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer; Paul Wenham should wake up and smell the coffee!

  9. 29/02/2012 at 23:24

    I have to apologise I have found this document that shows the land ownership was awarded to Waverley BC in 1977, when Haslemere Urban District Council became defunct, see http://tinyurl.com/75s5usr

  10. Editor
    02/03/2012 at 11:59

    From: Áine Hall [mailto:removed]
    Sent: 02 March 2012 11:55 AM
    To: carole.king@waverley.gov.uk
    Cc: paul.wenham@waverley.gov.uk; editor@haslemereparking.com
    Subject: RE: Haslemere Parking and Waverley

    Dear Carole

    Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me on the telephone.

    I accept that the council policy is not to comment in a public blog on council business and I will await the response from your communications department.

    It concerns me that you say there is “no foundation in a lot of what is being said”. You stated this in regards to the number of parking spaces that are being planned for the Weyhill site. As I said, the haslemereparking.com forum has only cited the numbers of parking spaces as outlined in Waverley’s own documents*. You explained to me the engineers are working on the planning of spaces right now. Does this mean that without consultation with Haslemere residents, work has already commenced?

    I agree with you that parking can receive an emotional response. I’m not sure that’s a reason to proceed with a plan regardless. In defence of haslemereparking.com readers who’ve taken the time to join the forum, their views seem well-measured and reasonable, not emotional.

    I urge you to take heed of what you dismiss as “twittering in the ether”. In the absence of proper car park consultation, it seems that the vehicle of social media is the only voice Haslemere residents have. If there are documents that you feel would help residents, or dates for consultation, we will happily share those in the forum.

    With thanks and kind regards – Áine

    *Waverley’s own documents cited here: http://haslemereparking.com/common-land-at-weyhill-has-received-consent-to-be-re-surfaced-has-waverleybc-sought-consent-for-a-car-park/

  11. haslemerehetty
    02/03/2012 at 13:57

    Confirmation of hard surfacing of WeyHill car park?

    Isn’t there a simple question that needs to be answered by Councillor Carole King:

    “Has the hard-surfacing and paid ticketing of WeyHill carpark been given the official go-ahead? Please answer a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.”

  12. Editor
    08/03/2012 at 17:15

    Your Editor here. I have received a short reply from Waverley Borough Council’s communication department but as there is a disclaimer I will not publish it in the forum.

    Please see below my reply to their reply.

    From: Áine Hall [mailto: ]
    Sent: 08 March 2012 4:38 PM
    To: ‘Julie Jackson’
    Cc: ‘carole.king@waverley.gov.uk’; ‘paul.wenham@waverley.gov.uk’
    Subject: RE: Haslemereparking.com

    Dear Julie

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

    It does not answer the issues in the e-mail that I or readers in the forum have raised. It is nice that you are supporting the charter fair. I’m not sure what question that answers.

    I offered you the forum to reply to residents and it seems that is of no interest to Waverley.

    Best regards – Áine

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