The Vale of Glamorgan’s ruling ‘cabinet’ has backed a planning officers’ report which recommended rejection of an objection from property developer Richard Hayward about new parking restrictions to be installed outside his Beachcliff development on Penarth Esplanade .
The Vale Council wants to install 13 new “echelon” parking bays in front of Beachcliff which would allow any motorist to park there for up to 2 hours – and overnight from 17:00 to 12:00 the following day – but is refusing to allocate 6 of these parking slots specifically for the dedicated use of Beachcliff residents.
Richard Hayward says these proposals are nothing like the deal which was originally reached with the council prior to the development of Beachcliff – and claims that if the Vale Council had made its parking plans clear at the outset, the Principality Building Society – which bankrolled the project – would never have put up the cash for the development in the first place.
Mr Hayward has written to the council saying that “It was confirmed by way of emails dated 21st December 2012 from the Vale of Glamorgan Council that 5 parking spaces would be allocated to the development. This was a pre-requisite condition of our funder, The Principality, without which the development would not have commenced”.
The Vale Council countered this by claiming “It was not confirmed that spaces would be authorised and allocated solely for residents of the Beach Cliff development” – although the council does acknowledge that “this was the developer’s wish.” The council goes on to say “ if any residents’ scheme were to be introduced it would be for all residents of the Esplanade to apply, not solely for the Beach Cliff development”.
Mr Hayward also points out that the requirement for 6 allocated car parking spaces was included in the original planning application. The Vale Council admits this requirement was spelled out and was “received and acknowledged“ but was “never approved as being a final and agreed plan” . The officers argue the “loss of further public parking should not be favoured over the potential benefits in providing additional parking for tourists and visitors to the area”.
Mr Hayward also reminds the council he removed a decked alfresco dining area originally installed on the pavement and the roadway in front of the old Rabaiotti’s cafe to make way for additional parking spaces – devaluing the commercial unit in the process because he was “mindful of the car parking“.Now the Vale Council is – in effect – appropriating this space for general parking and not retaining the area for Beachcliff parking.
The Vale Council’s officers counter this by saying the decking would have to have been removed regardless of any reserved spaces in order to “revoke the existing double yellow lines” and to install the new echelon parking spaces.
The Vale Council report says “There is significant demand for parking on the Esplanade which is particularly high during the summer season. Whilst the requirement for designated residents’ parking to service the new Beachcliff development is recognised after due consideration and deliberation, it is considered that the demand for visitor parking should take precedent.” (sic)
The council says residents and visitors will now be able to “park from 17:00 on any one day until before 12:00 the following day” . It says “whilst these parking bays would not be reserved exclusively for [Beachcliff] residents, they would add to the overall provision of public parking in the area, and may also provide additional overnight parking for residents or visitors after a specified time”. [i.e 17:00 to 12:00]
In the report, the Vale Council officers go on to suggest that maybe Beachcliff residents and visitors shouldn’t be using cars anyway – and drop a strong hint that these people should really be taking a bus or walking.
The officers say Beachcliff “would be served by alternative means of transport that would offer alternatives to residents than the private motor car alone”.
The council officers’ report appears to suggest that at the very least Beachcliff residents and visitors should be walking further to reach their cars and says that “Promoting the use of the nearby Cliff Parade car park as opposed to increasing on-street parking would encourage walking and healthier lifestyles”.
The £3,000 costs of setting up the new “all-comers” echelon parking arrangements outside Beachcliff – including road-painting – are to be met by the developer.