Agenda item

Public Question Time

So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by midday on 26th September 2022.


Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.


Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services –


(Note:  Public Question Time will last for a maximum of 30 minutes)


A member of the gallery asked a question that had not been previously submitted.


Barb O’Kelly (AREA) asked -


My question tonight relates to parking provision in the immediate area around New Rd, Surrey St, Ham Rd, Tarmount Lane and Brighton Rd. I have some statistics providing background to the questions so please bear with me for the next 2 minutes.


The total shortfall of parking provision is approximately 270 spaces for already approved developments in the immediate area. A solution on the over spill of 60 vehicles from Focus is awaited.


If Frosts and Focus is included the shortfall will increase to around 400.


If half the new residents do not own cars there will be a large shortfall which the local area cannot accommodate. This will lead to driver stress, traffic churn, increased pollution and quoting a comment from the police, disharmony.


A parking survey was done this week at 4 am. There were 70 available spaces, 50 in Tarmount Lane car park, 15 in parking bays and others on single yellow lines where restrictions start at 8am. A survey done at 3pm indicated there were 7 free spaces.


West Sussex County Council Guidance on Parking at New Developments states in 4.2 that “parking should be sufficient to accommodate parking demand while exploiting the potential for sustainable travel and avoiding increased on-street parking demand.


Our first question is; Has the cumulative effect of the shortfalls in parking spaces been considered when these developments were approved?


Our second question is; What is the Council's plan for alleviating the parking shortfall caused by the approval of so many developments with levels of parking provision well below the standards set in the West Sussex parking Calculaton?


The Head of Planning and Development, James Appleton, responded -


Parking is always an issue on any new development and certainly discussions with West Sussex do look at the cumulative impact. Many of the discussions around the developments coming forward are in relation to parking standards and provisions that have been provided on adjoining sites. Part of the analysis of developments in particularly sustainable locations follows government guidance that priority should be given to looking at sustainable transport, pedestrian and cycle movements, rather than making provision for the car. In terms of analysis on individual applications, it looks at the shortfall of that application but also has a regard to parking provision of developments approved. The developments in Shoreham town and in the Western Harbour Arm have been very much supported on the basis of emphasis on sustainable transport as being the alternative and reducing car provision to encourage sustainable transport which is fully in line with government policy. There may be a significant shortfall if you look at it as if every resident had a car but if we had that situation we’d only be adding to the congestion and air quality problems of the area. So clearly that's not the answer. It has to be to encourage more sustainable modes of transport and particularly in very highly accessible locations that are close to buses, the railway station and with cycle provision and so it is part of the County Council’s overall strategy to reduce levels of parking provision and encourage sustainable transport. It is below the County standards and individual applications have to assess whether that level of provision is appropriate. That is one of the considerations for the Planning Committee on individual applications. The Local Plan is being reviewed and we are also looking, in particular, at the Western Harbour Arm, but I doubt that would change the emphasis on sustainable transport. That will have to be reviewed in terms of looking at the cumulative impact of the development and whether there should be any emerging change to policies. The County standard that was adopted in 2019 did look at reducing parking provision, particularly in sustainable locations. We also need to look at the latest census data because that might also give us an indication of actual car parking provision for existing residents in town centre locations.


Barb O’Kelly (AREA) asked -


Can you clarify that you said that parking considerations for other developments would be influenced by the parking consideration for a development that is already approved with a small number?


The Head of Planning and Development, James Appleton, responded -


I can confirm that the County Council, when looking at car parking provision on an individual development, would also have regard to car parking provision on sites that had already received planning permission in the locality and part of that is the transport assessment that looks at parking provision would look at a whole range of data to determine what’s appropriate for an individual site but we would look at the cumulative impact.


Barb O’Kelly (AREA) asked -


Do you have a plan for alleviating the parking stress that there will be?


The Head of Planning and Development, James Appleton, responded -


The plan is to reduce the demand for parking coming forward with new developments so that’s the issue. Whether the County Council considers wider issues with the District Council’s parking pressures on roads within the town and potential solutions, is for the County Council to look at. As far as these developments and individual applications, it’s an assessment of whether the level of provision is appropriate, given other travel plan initiatives with the application and whether the parking provision is appropriate given the travel plan measures that are incorporated. The wider parking issues that are already in existence would be something that we’d need to discuss further with the County Council in terms of a wider plan for Shoreham town centre.


The Officer also committed to providing a written response after the meeting.