OVAL QUARTER – MAXIMUM IMPACT, MINIMUM PLANNING

The new development, the Oval Quarter, will provide 500 more homes in the area, but only 200 more parking spaces. As the Travel Plan submitted with the planning application admits, there is a deficit of 110 spaces if car use continues at the current level.

Oval Quarter Travel Plan acknowledges 110 space deficiency
Source: Oval Quarter Travel Plan

How has this been permitted?  As well as marketing plans to promote car clubs and public transport, the developers state that there is significant spare parking capacity in the local area:

5.6.1 The parking review has been partially informed by our 2004 parking beat survey, which was undertaken in November 2004 on both a weekday and a Saturday at 4am and 10am on each day.
5.6.2 The counts indicated that there is spare parking capacity in all time periods on the roads surrounding the site although some roads have greater parking stress than others. Relatively high occupancies were recorded within the Myatts Field estate itself and residents perceived lack of parking to be an issue. Full details of these surveys can be found in our 2005 report, summarised below in Figure 5.2 and Figure 5.3. These show the number of spare spaces at 10AM on both a Thursday and Saturday, with significant spare capacity available at both these times.

The 2004 Parking Survey
Source: Planning Application Transport Assessment.  The 2004 Parking Survey, spare parking is shown in red.

The developers were allowed to base their parking plans on a 2004 survey which was clearly outdated by the time of their application.  In their decision to reduce to the parking spaces provided, they rely on these 227 spaces identified in 2004, when a cursory walk down some of these roads at the time of the application (in 2010) would have revealed these were no longer available:

Source: Oval Quarter Travel Assessment
Source: Oval Quarter Travel Assessment

We are also deeply concerned that the developers only need to consider the roads within 500m of the new estate, excluding the roads around the park which are likely to suffer.

The Transport Assessment also suggests that it was decided in 2010 not to consult before the Oval Quarter was occupied so that the new residents could also be consulted.

OQ TA consultation will not take place before development
Source: OQ Travel Assessment

The developers are obliged to complete a post-occupancy parking survey to determine if parking stress has increased as a result of the development.  If it has increased more than 90% (vs the 2004 survey one presumes) they have to contribute to a CPZ consultation but only in the roads within 500m of the development.  TFL’s response to the application stated that it would support plans for a CPZ, indicating that TFL might be a source of funding for any CPZ consultation.

TFL supportive of CPZ Mayor's Office response to application
Source: GLA response to planning application

It is unclear why Lambeth has chosen to wait for this post-occupancy survey when their policy on CPZs states that a contribution should be made based on the “likely impact of development” rather than a proven impact.

Lambeth s106 policy
Source: Lambeth draft revised s106 planning obligations

This leaves us with several pressing problems:

  • There is budget, but ONLY when the Oval Quarter is 90% occupied, and ONLY for roads within 500m of the development, ie not around the park
  • so WHEN is the development forecast to be 90% occupied, and therefore the survey likely to take place?
  • What is the current level of occupancy, is parking going to get significantly worse over the next year or two prior to any consultation?
  • Lambeth must confirm that they have budgeted for the inclusion of the Minet Estate and surrounding roads if this survey and consultation go ahead.  It would be a nightmare scenario if a CPZ was introduced around the development but not around the park
  • All indications are that TfL are supportive of a CPZ in our area: what moves have been made / need to be made to secure funding?

3 thoughts on “OVAL QUARTER – MAXIMUM IMPACT, MINIMUM PLANNING”

  1. The development has been in the making for many years so its inevitable that there will be a disconnect between the ideals of the design phase and the realities of execution. The development is multi stage. Stage 1 is nearing completion and Stage 2 buildings are up for sale off the plan in September. Stage 3 next year I imagine. The 90% occupancy rate you refer to could worryingly relate to completion of all stages. One hopes not! The idea of a CPZ consultation in the limited area of 500m around the site is clearly not consistent with council policy of consulting the entire ward due to the parking displacement issue – so I guess we can count on that!

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  2. I would also have thought it was within 500m but the park area is clearly excluded in all the maps submitted with the planning application so I can only imagine the centre point is taken from further away. It is certainly something we need to raise.

    We need to ensure that the council holds firm on consulting the entire ward and that it has budgeted to do so, given that budget seems to be the only reason for not running a consultation now.

    One can’t help but think that the Council Officers are deliberately stalling any move until the development is complete and they can do one consultation, partially funded by the developers. As Jamie rightly notes, if phase 3 is not completed till next year, then we have to wait for 95% occupancy before even launching a post-occupancy survey then we would be in for a very long wait indeed.

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