Monday, 9 August 2010

Parking suspensions and access: MERA wants better communication

9th August 2010: 
Suspended parking and road works in Brokesley Street

This is an extract from a letter we've sent to the officers of Tower Hamlets Council asking about matters relating to the suspension of parking bays in Brokesley Street.

We've also separately asked Planning to provide some reassurance about the quality of the liaison between Parking and Planning in relation to development works.

Let's see what they have to say......
Could you please answer the following questions:
  • Normal notice period for all planned utility work:  What is the standard notice period given to local residents for suspension of parking bays due to planned works by utility companies?
  • Notices - allowance for summer holiday period:  What is the normal notice period given to residents about suspensions of parking bays during the summer holiday period when people are likely to be away on holiday?  (We would regard at least 14 days for all planned works as an acceptable standard)
  • Application date:  On what date did you receive the request from Transco for the suspension for planned development works in connection with the development of site 10 of the Eric & Treby Estate development
  • Works to comply with Council Planning Permission/Conditions:
    • Were you aware that the planning permission for the development at site 10 of the Eric & Treby Street development requires that the Construction Management Plan MUST be approved before any development works can take place? 
    • Did you check to see whether the development had complied with all pre-commencment planning conditions and developmnents works could proceed BEFORE you granted permission to suspend the parking bays.
  • Adequate Notice
    • On what date did council officers fix the notices and mark up the pavement relating to the suspensions of parking for this planned work in the street?  
    • Did this comply with the standard notice period required before planned works by utility companies can commence?
    • Why did local residents not receive a letter as we have done in the past for lengthy suspensions of parking in most of the road?
    • Why did the notice not state what would happen to cars which remained and how much it would cost to retrieve them?
  • Customer Services/Queries:  Why did the suspension notice not provide a telephone number for queries?
  • Customer Service/Comunication:  Why did the suspension notice not say which organisation had requested the suspension?
  • Hours of working in residential areas:  When granting permission for the suspension of parking
    • Do you require limitations on hours when works/noisy works can take place? 
    • Do all utility works relating to a developent need to be compliant with standard hours for constructions works in residential areas imposed by the Council re planning applications?  (eg no works at all before 8am)
    • For the record works had started in Brokesley Street BEFORE 8am this morning (breaching Planning Condition 14) and a very noisy machine (requiring ear protection for the operative) was being used between the hours of 8am and 8.30am (apparently breaching Planning Condition 15 which limits noisy work to between 10am and 4pm). 
  • Liaison:  Are you satisfied that Highways/Parking Services Liason with the Planning/Development Control is adequate for the purposes of ensuring that all suspensions of access to streets and pavements for the purposes of necessart works associated with a development ONLY takes place in complete compliance with the Council's planning conditions?
Our principal aim in writing to you is to AVOID any repetition of:
  • lack of adequate notice to local residents about parking suspensions
  • lack of adequate communication with residents as to who to contact in relation to the suspension of parking
  • avoidance of any fines being levied on any resident who has not received adequate and approrpriate notice
  • apparent lack of awareness by Parking of the terms of the planning permission and pre-commencement planning conditions
  • works which do not comply with the terms of the planning permission (eg unapproved works prior to the approval of all pre-commencement planning conditions)
  • specifically impact breaking and noisy work outside the hours as stipulated in planning condition 15 of the Decision Notice for this development
We also want reassurance that proper consideration will be given to the requirements for 24/7 emergency access and disabled access EVERY TIME parking bays are suspended for holes to be dug in the road during the course of this development

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