£25-a-year parking permits for Hatfield residents?
PUBLISHED: 10:23 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 09 August 2018
Councillors are set to determine whether or not to push ahead with plans for a £25-a-year parking scheme for Hatfield residents to coincide with the construction of a multi-storey car park in the town centre.
Work on the 500-space multi storey car park, planned for the site of The Common car park, is expected to start within months.
And once complete it will mean existing car parks, currently taking up a third of the town centre, can be redeveloped as part of the regeneration plans.
During construction, a temporary upper deck will be added to the Lemsford Road car park to provide some additional spaces.
But there are fears the temporary loss of 150 parking spaces at The Common will see motorists spill onto residential streets, causing a nuisance and leaving residents unable to park near their homes.
That – teamed with existing parking concerns – prompted Welwyn Hatfield Council to draw up plans for the residents’ permit scheme in the French Horn Lane, Lemsford Road and Aldykes areas.
And today (August 9) members of the council’s Cabinet planning and Parking Panel will decide whether to take the permit plans to the next stage, or not.
Councillor Bernard Sarson, Welwyn Hatfield Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “Surface level parking accounts for over a third of town centre space in Hatfield, and releasing some of these sites for development is a central part of our 2030+ vision.
“It will allow us to provide more new homes, which will help to bring footfall to the town and attract new leisure facilities and retailers to the area.
“It’s important that we create a welcoming environment and a vibrant economy so that Hatfield can be enjoyed by shoppers, residents and retailers. I’m looking forward to the work starting.
“The temporary, single deck on Lemsford Road car park will alleviate parking pressures in surrounding roads, whilst the work on the multi-storey is ongoing.
“The proposed permit scheme is in response to local residents reporting historical parking issues and the construction of the multi-storey car park.
“If the permits are introduced then they will be permanent, and as with all schemes we will continue to monitor the area.”
If backed by the panel today, the decision will need to be endorsed by a meeting of Cabinet in September.
And that will then prompt a formal consultation period, where residents and businesses can have their say on the proposed scheme.
The scheme may also include Verge Protection Orders, which will enable parking tickets to be issued to vehicles parked on verges or pavements in all three areas.
Earlier this year residents in the affected roads were asked to submit their views on parking permits, as well as new single yellow lines or doing nothing.
According to the report to the committee fewer than one in five residents – that’s 20 per cent – responded.
But of those who did respond, most opted for a weekday parking scheme between 8am and 6pm – rather than doing nothing or new single yellow lines.
According to the Committee papers, an annual parking permit would cost £25 for the first vehicle and £40 for the second. A third permit would be £60.
Visitor vouchers could be purchased at a cost of £10 for 20 vouchers.
Meanwhile a business permit would be £224 and a permit for a doctor or health visitor would be £20.
Blue Badge holders would not be charged for the first permit.
The multi-storey car park should be operational by the end of 2019.
A decision about whether to charge to park in the multi-storey will be made as part of the budget-setting process in future years.