Parking permits plan for Highcliffe residents is shelved after outcry
A CONTROVERSIAL plan to create 230 parking bays in roads around Highcliffe has been shelved for a year after furious protests by residents and local councillors.
The proposals being investigated by BCP Council would have meant residents in 15 streets having to pay for permits to park outside their homes, if the scheme was brought in.
A series of roads south of the main Lymington Road had been earmarked by the council for zonal, ticketed parking.
It claimed this would ease the chaos caused by hundreds of tourists arriving in the spring and summer as lockdown was lifted.
After the idea was revealed, there was furious opposition from locals who were faced with having to pay £60 a year for permits while businesses would face annual bills of £200.
But this week Cllr Nigel Brooks, BCP member for Highcliffe and Walkford, claimed that a decision on whether to have zonal parking had now been deferred until next year.
He told the A&T: “It is a great relief that zonal car parking is not going to be brought in this summer and that there will now be time for proper consultation between the council and Highcliffe residents.
“The idea of creating 230 parking bays in 15 roads was unacceptable and unworkable.”
BCP Council did not respond directly to questions by the A&T but pointed to a statement made last week by Cllr Mike Greene, BCP Council cabinet member for transport, who said that the council was looking into zonal parking “but at this stage nothing has been decided”.
He had also argued that yellow lines would not be the answer to problem parking in the village.
Although Cllr Brooks was glad the ticketing system was not going ahead, he was “very disappointed” that nothing was going to be done to stop problems there caused by people enjoying staycations this summer.
Cllr Brooks said: “We were hoping that yellow lines with summer restrictions could be painted for this year.
“There was absolute chaos last year and this summer will be just the same with foreign travel ruled out at the moment.
“Residential roads were just plagued by bad parking, people parking over residents’ drives.
“Many people had no respect for residents at all. One lady in Abingdon Drive drew her curtains one morning to find a family having a picnic on her front lawn.”
Roads listed for potential enforcement had included Studley Close, Mill Lane, Chewton Lodge, Montagu Road, Abingdon Drive, Bute Drive, Marryat Court, Stuart Road, Jays Court, The Lawns, Waterford Road, Wortley Road, Waterford Gardens, Wharncliffe Gardens, Elwood Way, Redan Close, Beacon Drive, Oakleigh Way, Maple Close and Ranelagh Road.
A spokesperson for Highcliffe Residents Association said it was pleased about the deferment, saying: “We are very relieved that this scheme in its present form has been dropped as we have received a lot of objections from residents that would have been affected.
“We hope that we can now have a more open discussion with BCP and deal with the real problem areas of bad parking by visitors.”