Posted: 22.06.21 at 13:10 by Alex Jones
Plans to impose resident-only parking restrictions on roads nearby Cosmeston Country Park are to proceed with some amendments following a public consultation.
Residents living on Cosmeston Drive, Upper Cosmeston Farm and their adjoining roads will be issued permits enabling them to park outside their homes or elsewhere within the zone.
They will be able to apply for one permit per car registered to their address and one additional visitor pass per household. The permits will be issued free of charge.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council say they are introducing the policy to protect residents from Cosmeston Country Park visitors taking up spaces outside their homes.
Parking meters have arrived at the attraction and charges are soon to be implemented for the first time in the Vale’s history.
The Council say this will lead to visitors parking on nearby roads to avoid the charges - a problem the resident-only restrictions will resolve.
However, a consultation that ran from 22 April until 14 May received twelve letters of objection from residents, containing a total of 42 points of concern.
Complainants have described the measures as “heavy-handed”, “overkill” and “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.
They take issue with the plan’s scale, costliness and the fact that only one visitor pass will be issued.
Many criticise the original decision to implement parking charges in Cosmeston Country Park, which at the time received 155 objections.
The Council insists that both the Cosmeston charges and the resulting resident-only restrictions are necessary. They say there is also “a lot of support” for the measures.
Responding to the complaints, the Council made two significant amendments to the initial plans.
1. Lost permits will be replaced once, free of charge, but any subsequent replacement permits will be issued at charge. The original plans stated “lost permits will not be replaced in normal circumstances”.
2. Motor caravans and camper vans will be eligible for a resident parking permit as long as the vehicle is registered at the property. Such vehicles were not eligible in the original plans.
Many other complaints, however, have been dismissed.
Several objectors criticised the fact that only one visitor permit will be issued.
“What if we are having a celebration gathering? One permit is inadequate in these circumstances,” one said.
The Council responded, saying: “The Resident Parking Policy limits the issue of visitor permits to one per property and there is no discretion to issue a greater number.
“Residents do have the option of using their own vehicle permits to park on-street in order to allow additional visitors to park on the driveways of their properties.”
The policy will include all cul-de-sacs adjoining Cosmeston Drive, including the likes of Plover Way which is half a mile away from the car park.
Some therefore complained that the resident-only zone will cover too large an area.
“We have lived here for many years, including days when parking charges were implemented at the Country Park and more recently during COVID times when the car parks were closed,” one resident said.
“At no time was there any displacement parking above the old railway line.”
To this, the Council said: “Experience suggests that drivers are willing to park and walk long distances to avoid paying parking charges.
“For this reason, it is deemed likely that any partial introduction of resident parking on the estate as suggested would lead to parking migrating beyond the currently restricted lengths.”
Others complained that the cost of enforcing the policy would be better spent elsewhere.
The Council estimate that implementing the scheme in Cosmeston and Cowbridge will likely cost £25,000 in 2021/22.
They say this will be offset by future income from parking charges in Cosmeston Car Park, and that these charges are necessary fund the area’s maintenance.
One resident raised concerns that similar schemes elsewhere have led to householders having to pay for their permits.
“Any level headed person would find this utterly unacceptable. Please don't tell me that such a thing will never happen here.”
The Council refused to rule out future charges.
Parking charges will not commence in Cosmeston Country Park until the resident-only permits are issued - a date for which is yet to be set.
Read the full report HERE.
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