Waverley Borough Council seeks new permission to pave way for Wey Hill car park Pay & Display

A report is being taken to Waverley Borough Council’s 3rd July Executive meeting to provide an update on proposals to refurbish and introduce charging at Weyhill Car Park, Haslemere, and to seek authority to proceed with the submission of an application for Common Land Consent under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.

The Executive meeting is open to the public to observe next week.  There is a webcast of the meeting so if you didn’t want to travel to the offices, you could view it live from your computer by following this link:- View live webcast, starts 6.45pm, 3rd July 2012.

From Annexe F, Wey Hill Car Park:

APPENDIX F

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 3 JULY 2012

Title: WEYHILL CAR PARK, HASLEMERE

[Portfolio Holder: Cllr Carole King]

[Wards Affected: Haslemere Critchmere & Shottermill]

Summary and purpose:

To provide an update on proposals to refurbish and introduce charging at Weyhill Car Park, Haslemere, and to seek authority to proceed with the submission of an application for Common Land Consent under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.

How this report relates to the Council’s Corporate Priorities:

This report relates to the Council’s Value For Money priority as the proposed project will contribute towards the achievement of a balanced budget in future years; it also relates to the Understanding People’s Needs priority, as a fresh consent for works ensures that the Council is demonstrating a high level of transparency and seeks to improve parking provision within Haslemere.

Equality and Diversity Implications:

Unlike the current car park, the refurbished car park will make appropriate provision for disabled parking in line with other WBC-operated car parks.

Environment and Climate Change Implications:

The design brief for the refurbished car park will include a requirement to incorporate carbon efficient lighting and recycled surfacing materials.

Resource/Value for Money Implications:

Currently, there is a capital sum of £342,000 in the current year’s capital programme for the implementation of this project, with an indicative ongoing income stream tentatively included in the parking services revenue budget from 2013/14 onwards.

Legal Implications:

Legal implications are covered in the main body of the report.

Background

1. A capital sum was allocated for 2012/13 to enable the refurbishment, and subsequent introduction of charging at Weyhill Car Park, Haslemere.

2. Given that the site is a registered Common, any such works are subject to the Council obtaining appropriate Secretary of State consent, and consent for a scheme to formalise parking arrangements, and introduce charging on site, was initially obtained in 1994 under (now repealed) Section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925. The Borough Solicitor has advised that this consent remains extant.

3. Following the announcement that there would be significant gas works taking place in Haslemere throughout the summer of 2012, and being mindful of the disruption to on-street parking and traffic flow that this is likely to cause, a decision was made to defer the project until April 2013.

4. In the ensuing period, officers have sought further legal advice regarding the scheme. As a consequence it is now felt that, given that the 1925 Act has been repealed and the issue of common land consent is now covered under Section 38 the Commons Act 2006, and given that the currently-proposed scheme is of a slightly different nature (albeit a less engineered solution) than the original scheme, it would be appropriate to make an application to the Planning Inspectorate for consent under the 2006 Act.

5. In doing so it is felt that the Council would allow up-to-date representations to be made on the revised proposals and would have a fresh view, under current legislation, of the latest version of the scheme.

The Application Process

6. The process for submitting a new application under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 is summarised below:

Applicants are advised to carry out extensive consultation BEFORE submitting an application (including with the Town Council, the Open Spaces Society, local residents, etc.).

A view should be sought from Natural England as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is necessary.

A Section 38 application should be prepared and submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

Concurrently with the above, notices regarding the proposal should be prepared and placed at the main entry points to the site, and in the local paper, and copies sent to ‘key stakeholders’ (the application form sets out a definitive list, including Natural England, English Heritage, Open Spaces Society, Town Council, etc.).

28 days are then allowed from posting the notices for responses.

The Planning Inspectorate will manage an exchange of correspondence between the Council and respondents and ask the Council to address any objections. The exchange rarely continues beyond a second exchange of letters from any respondent.

The Planning Inspectorate will advise as soon as possible whether they can make a decision based solely on written evidence, or whether an inquiry, hearing or site visit is required.

7. The length of time the application takes inevitably depends on the nature and extent of the works, the quality of information provided and the procedure followed (i.e., whether an inquiry, site visit or hearing is deemed necessary). Indicative timeframes though are:

3 months if no objections are received

5 months if an exchange of letters is necessary

7 months if a site visit is necessary

8 months for a public enquiry or hearing

‘much longer’ in more complex inquiry cases

8. By way of comparison, in the lead-up to obtaining consent in 1994, the Council placed notices in the Surrey Advertiser and Haslemere Herald in October 1993, together with appropriate site notices, and consent was obtained in November 1994. It is unclear from the wording of the consent whether an inquiry was held, but at the very least the application process involved a lengthy exchange of correspondence between the Council and 42 objectors – hence the length of time between the notices being published and consent being obtained.

Conclusion

9. Whilst it is felt that the existing common land consent for the scheme is sufficient to enable the Council to proceed with the project, it is considered appropriate, given the fact that the original legislation has been repealed, and given that the precise nature of the project has changed, to seek a new consent under current legislation.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive authorises the preparation and submission of a fresh application for common land consent for the refurbishment of Weyhill Car Park under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.

Background Papers

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

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Rob Anderton Telephone: 01483 523411

E-mail: robert.anderton@waverley.gov.uk

Could this derail the open collaboration for a comprehensive parking solution for Haslemere, including the essential teaming between the three tiers (SCC, WBC and HTC), that was discussed at the Haslemere Museum meeting last week with SCC, WBC, HTC representatives in attendance?

Given this would have a profound impact on parking solutions for Haslemere, and both Robert Knowles and Carole King did not attend the meeting last week, does this mean they have no interest in a three tier parking solution?

How would this affect the Wey Hill Neighbourhood Planning Forum (WNPF)?

What happens to Robert Knowles’ pledge of support for the WNPF, as reported here?

It will reduce commuter car parking spaces. Where will they go?

Will it have a harmful effect on Wey Hill businesses?

Is this just a money grab?

What will happen to the Saturday recycling service? If there is an alternative location, will it satisfy environment and climate change considerations or are residents to rack up the miles to get to Witley?

6 comments for “Waverley Borough Council seeks new permission to pave way for Wey Hill car park Pay & Display

  1. Victorialeake
    27/06/2012 at 09:24

    Absolutely nothing should be done until we have the three tiers working together i.e. WBC, SCC and HTC and a full consultation of Haslemere has been completed. I have heard Robert Knowles is such a nice chap.

    Come on Robert – WE WANT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come join the team and be part of something great.

  2. 27/06/2012 at 16:47

    I can think of far better uses for £340,000 pounds than this. This needs to be stopped until a proper consultation & planning process across Haslemere is carried out. We need a parking building at the station as a first priority. If Southwest Trains won’t build it then the council should do a compulsory purchase and build it for community with profits kept by the community. They also need to do something with the land where Haslemere Motorcycles once was, it would be a fantastic place for a multi-storey + underground parking, not much use for anything else.

  3. Antony
    28/06/2012 at 00:25

    Relevant references:
    WBC Corporate Plan for 2012-2015, where the “Value for Money” and “Understanding People’s Needs” priorities mentioned above are defined.
    http://www.waverley.gov.uk/info/200009/performance/524/waverleys_corporate_plan_2012_to_2015

    Environmental Services Service Plan 2012/13 – http://www.waverley.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/2545/environmental_services_service_plan_201213

    • Editor
      28/06/2012 at 09:36

      Thanks for the links, Antony. Since receiving your comment, I have added the links into the content of the blog post.

  4. 28/06/2012 at 09:20

    If Parking is self-financing then should that not apply to business rates, if so what is happening to ‘Profits’ from that?

    More importantly the council is elected by the community (roll on next elections) and therefore should be asking the community what they feel are the priorities. I find it hard to believe anyone would rank re-surfacing Wey Hill car park as even on the radar. It’s a bit like House of Lords reform, doesn’t need to be done now, it’s far more important to think up ways to boost local business rather than taking money out of shoppers’ and commuters’ pockets.

    • Paul M
      29/06/2012 at 14:14

      Business rates are collected by the national government and used to provide grants to local authorities – there is no clear relationship between the rates collected from one local authority area and the amounts passed on to that local authority, indeed far from it. Therefore Waverley doesn’t have a profit from business rates.

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