Student car parking pressures on the Alton Estate, acknowledged in 2002?!

The recent fiasco with regards to the Roehampton University (planning application (2016/5912) to do with the portacabins resulted in a search of what was mentioned when the current student accommodation by Whitelands College was first being planned for. From planning applications 2002/3673 & 2002/3676 there are some interesting comments which hold true today, some 15 years later. Let’s have a look at some of the comments.

The Putney Society must have had a crystal ball as the comments about car parking seem to apply very much to the present.

The Green Travel Plan (page 49 of the Committee report)

How much of the following do you think is still current?

“The Green Travel Plan (GTP) includes a survey of the current travel modes by staff/students at the West Hill campus and the main Roehampton Lane campus. The GTP proposes the continuation of the University shuttle bus between the two campus sites but with increased frequency; display of bus information within the campus: interest free loans for staff to purchase public transport season tickets; negotiate discounts for staff/students with local bus operators; organise ‘ride home’ for staff; provision of a bus shelter with seating at Barnes Station; preparation of public transport leaflets; encourage cycling; install pedestrian signage; introduce a car share scheme for staff; promote home working and flexitime policy and, appoint a travel co-ordinator.”

Objection comment (pages 50-51 of the Committee report)

“Responses to scheme as originally submitted:

2 objections: increase in population creating more competition for already inadequate services. Loss of tress. Anti-social behavior from students. Loss of open space would further the Alton Estate decline. New blocks should be reduced in height by one storey. Provision of facilities for a ‘privileged group’ should be mirrored by similar facilities for the young people of Roehampton generally.”

The Putney Society (page 53 of the Committee report)

“Concerned that the proposed development will generate considerable demand for parking which will have a damaging impact on surrounding streets. A ‘Green Travel Plan’ is required.

 Applicants transport assessment is riddled with inaccuracies. No parking is provided for students. The assessment is very superficial and fails to note the extensive free parking space bays on the Red Route Roehampton Lane outside the main university campus (filled by students), the lack of such bays on the stretch of Roehampton Lane near Parkstead and the parking pressures which have arisen in the residential areas to the east of Roehampton Lane (no doubt caused by students) opposite the main campus site. There is real concern that the roads around the Parkstead site, on the Alton Estate, will be subject to serious parking pressures – and these roads are already heavily parked. The transport assessment fails to address this issue properly.”

The Putney Society (page 56 of the Committee report)

“The Putney Society – the society’s previous objections to the proposed destruction of the woodland area to the east of Parkstead House, much appreciated from outside the site, and its replacement by blocks of student accommodation, still stands. These blocks would cause environmental loss to the area adjoining the application site because of their scale and appearance. The blocks need to be reduced to three storeys. Concern at the likely demand for student parking on the streets surrounding the site still stands. The applicants have not addressed this issue seriously.”

Engineering services (page 57 of the Committee report)

“The number of staff at the site would be 184 and the number of students attending the site would 836 and based on this the level of parking in accordance with the Council’s Revised UDP would be 102 spaces for both staff and students. The development would provide accommodation for 317 students and 121 off street parking sspaces which will be restricted to staff use. This level of parking provision exceeds the Council’s standards but as the site is in a location with medium accessibility to public transport is probably acceptable. It is likely that some students will own cars and as they will not be permitted to park them within the development they will park on streets nearby. The applicant has been requested to supply an estimate of the number of cars generated by the development which would be parked on the streets around the development at various times of the day”.

Council’s comment (page 60 of the Committee report)

“At present, there is no operational residents parking scheme in the area and there is understandable concern that the proposed development could result in an overspill of parking into the surrounding area, particularly as the area is not particularly well served by public transport.

While a relatively intensive form of development, the level of on-site parking is limited given the site’s medium accessibility location. In this respect, the university, as with the main campus, continues to discourage the use of private cars by both students and staff. While the application includes a Green Travel Plan, there may inevitably be some additional pressure on parking in neighbouring roads”.

Roeregeneration conclusion

This was 14/15 years ago, and the car parking issues persist. What have the ward Councillors been doing about this problem during this time?

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