A number of residents have expressed concern and disappointment that the play equipment and trim trail in Havenstoke Park, together with other play areas around the development, have been cordoned off with Heras fencing.
The reason for this closure is that there was a failure of a piece of equipment in Havenstoke Park and for, safety reasons, the fencing was erected until it could be repaired and then all equipment inspected. Linden told us that they were awaiting a part to complete the repair. This has now arrived and the repair has been made. Some parts of the trim trail have also been damaged recently. The next step is that all equipment, in all play areas and the trim trail, has to be inspected, before the spaces can be reopened. A tree report must also be completed around the chapel play area.
This situation is particularly sad as we have waited so long for these facilities for children to be set up, and seeing families enjoying the summer on the park has been a great pleasure.
We will be pressing Linden for further information regarding this situation at our Quarterly Meeting with them in January. We will keep you updated.
A REMINDER ABOUT PARKING
Members of the Residents’ Association Committee learned recently that large numbers of residents are being issued with parking infringement notices. Sometimes this seems to be because residents might not be aware of the regulations or have forgotten them, hence this reminder.
- All owner/occupier and shared ownership residents are allocated one or more numbered parking spaces with equivalent parking permits plus one visitor parking permit.
- Owner/occupiers with garages are not allocated numbered spaces as they are expected to garage their vehicles or park them on their drives. (A small number of residents do have numbered driveways).
- Residents who rent their properties should receive the appropriate parking permits by negotiation with Clarion Housing or other landlord.
- To park in a numbered parking space, residents must display a parking permit showing the number of the space they are using. The permit and the number on the parking bay must be the same.
- To park in a visitor space, residents must display a visitor permit. Please do not use visitor permits for your own additional vehicles. These permits are intended to be for bona fide visitors. People seen by the wardens to be using visitor permits as a means of parking an additional vehicle may be issued with a warning notice.
- All permits must be displayed clearly in full and must not be faded. Replacement permits are obtainable by contacting CPM at the number on the parking signs. Faded permits can look very like photocopied permits, hence the need to replace them as appropriate.
- Parking wardens will allow up to ten minutes for loading or unloading in front of buildings.
- Multiple parking notices may be issued when vehicles are seen by wardens on successive patrols still to be parking in contravention of the regulations.
- Medical and care staff can park in visitor spaces or, when necessary, near the houses they are visiting provided they display a formal notice issued by their organisation.
- Commercial vehicles are not allowed to be parked on the development unless temporarily in relation to work for residents. Where possible, please advise vehicles visiting for such purposes to park in visitor spaces and provide them with your visitor permit.
We hope this reminder will help residents avoid receiving parking fines and also free up some of the visitor spaces which are being blocked on a fairly permanent basis by some residents.
Parking – background
This is a never-ending hot topic (if it’s possible to have such a thing) but one on which the GPRA, CPM, Grange Management and Linden have been working together to try to resolve some of the major issues, many of which have featured in our newsletters.
Below are summaries from those newsletters, which may clarify how current parking arrangements came about, some of the difficulties encountered by residents and how we are working to resolve them. CPM have, in response to our concerns, put together a proposal which may help to resolve some of our difficulties.
Graylingwell Park was conceived as a low-carbon development with an emphasis on sustainable transport through the provision and subsidy of the increasingly well-used bus service and cycle paths (still to be implemented). From the outset, therefore, the number of parking spaces available to residents was always deliberately restricted.
Controlled areas of resident parking were designed as desirable alternatives to the type of free-for-all that blights other parts of the city.
Consequently when residents move to Graylingwell, parking is restricted by covenant. This is a legally binding agreement and applies to all categories of housing including ownership, shared-ownership, buy-to-let and social housing tenancies. When people sign up for a property they are allocated a numbered parking space accordingly. Typically, flats and smaller houses are awarded one space and some larger houses (but not all) are allocated two. In addition to a permit for their main numbered parking space(s) residents are given a single visitor’s parking permit. This is intended to allow tradesmen, family members and guests to park in the clearly marked visitor spaces for relatively short periods of time. There are far fewer visitor spaces than properties and so this permit should not be used for the regular parking of any additional vehicle that the resident may have, since this seriously restricts the number of already scarce spaces available for genuine visitors to other residents.
At the last two Annual General Meetings of the Residents’ Association the committee has been specifically asked to ensure that this position is enforced because space is so limited. We have also spoken to local estate agents handling lettings to ensure new tenants are aware of the rules.
For family gatherings, when more than one visitor space is required, it is not uncommon for neighbours to pool permits unused at that time to help out.
The renting out of spare spaces by those who have either no car, or one car but two spaces because of the size of their property, is another option. (Spare spaces may become available to buy from Linden Homes but we believe there are none on the market at the moment as they are being used as temporary spaces for phase 3 of the development where, as yet, some roads are unfinished. In any event suggested prices are prohibitive, ranging from £5-15k)
Using a visitor permit to park in the bays around Havenstoke Park at night (those parking with visitor permits are not time-restricted in the way that casual visitors are to 2 hours only).
However, sometimes the system doesn’t work as effectively as it should. Recently some residents have returned home from work, only to find another car (without a permit of any description) parked in their numbered space. Whilst CPM are now making a point of regularly checking for this, we have also produced some cards which can be placed under the windscreen wipers of such vehicles by any resident affected in this way. These cards carry the GPRA logo, are non-confrontational and explain the rules. If you find yourself in a similar position, contact the committee and we’ll provide you with a couple. CPM has agreed that their use could be helpful but have assured us that they will continue to penalize owners of incorrectly parked vehicles. If this situation occurs on a regular basis, contact Grange Management and CPM giving your bay number, address and also the registration number of the offending vehicle. In addition, any resident finding that they cannot park in their rightful space and hence needing to park in a visitor space should put a note to this effect in their windscreen and ensure that their resident’s permit is clearly visible. Taking a photograph to support your case, should you be unlucky enough to receive a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) as a consequence, might also be a sensible precaution.
It’s possible that these rogue vehicles belong to visitors who cannot find a visitor space, because they are already occupied on a long-term basis by second or third vehicles belonging to residents.
The GPRA will push for new and clearer signage in parking areas and consider producing flyers to be delivered to every dwelling reminding residents about the parking procedures.
On the plus side, when residents have received PCN notices because they have been forced to park in a visitor or unmarked space, as a result of their own space being taken by someone else, CPM have responded positively and quashed the fine.
Although, clearly, there is a need for drivers of commercial vehicles to be allowed to park at Graylingwell during the day, it is important to remember that no commercial vehicles may be parked in residents’ or visitors’ spaces, including around the park, between the hours of 7.00pm and 7.00am. This applies whether the vehicle belongs to a resident or not. Any that are, are likely to receive a parking charge notice – PCN.
A Reminder about Covenants
Owners of property at Graylingwell Park have the benefit of a considerable number of restrictive covenants. Thecovenants, which have legal standing, are there to ensure that residents can enjoy living here without ‘nuisance or annoyance’ and that the quality, appearance and services of the development are maintained as intended.
-not allowing commercial vehicles, caravans, etc. to be parked on the development
-not using properties for trade, business or commercial use
-not erecting satellite dishes or aerials
-not erecting any fence, wall, hedge or other barrier around or within the boundaries of a property
-not attaching alarms or other forms of equipment to the front of houses where they can be seen from public areas
-not making any structural or external alterations or additions to properties or erecting any additional building or structure without the consent of the Estate Management Company and any required planning permissions
These are just some of the covenants that are intended to help make Graylingwell a good place to live and enjoy as well as to provide legally enforceable protections for residents.
The Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association and Linden Homes have discussed the application of the covenants. There will be further discussions about procedures, such as when Estate Management Company approvals are required, so we’ll keep you informed about any further developments.
Note: The covenants are set out mainly in Sections 15 and 16 of the Transfer Agreement for the purchase of properties at Graylingwell.