Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

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Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 4

Representation ID: 2925

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

We object to the reference that: "There are 3,142 publicly available paid for car parking spaces to the south of the Central Area..." This does not reflect the current supply of paid for car parking spaces south of the railway line. The difference is based on an inaccurate survey of car parking
spaces, the use of significantly out of date figures for the Seaway Car Park, coupled with the exclusion of a number of paid for on street parking areas. The correct number is set out in our amended version of Appendix 9 (see our separate representations on that).

A meeting was held with the Council on 21st June. At this meeting, Stockvale explained the differences between the Stockvale and Southend Borough Council (SBC) figures. The Stockvale figures are based on a December 2016 survey. Stockvale stated that it was willing to meet with the Council on any of the sites where there was disagreement and agree figures, but the Council was not willing to agree to this. The Council has given no explanation for the discrepancies in its figures, so Stockvale cannot accept that the figures shown in the Schedule of Modifications are correct. We would suggest that the Stockvale figures are used in favour of the SBC figures. Alternatively, Stockvale remains willing to meet with the Council on site and agree these figures, which should be a relatively straightforward exercise as this is a statement of fact. We also see no reason for the reference to only paid-for spaces, when free spaces are also available and should be recognised. There are an additional 132 free on-street spaces available for visitors (based on the conservative assumption that 75% of the on-street spaces are used by residents).

The Proposed Modification also states: "2,562 of these spaces are located in publicly available key visitor car parks (Table 5)". This is based on the car parks that have been designated as such in Table 5. Stockvale strongly objects to the exclusion of a number of key visitor car parks from this list, for which there is absolutely no explanation given. This artificially reduces the number of key car parking spaces significantly, and given the severe capacity issues in the seafront area, to be sound the discrepancy in our representations to Main 7. If our amended version of Table 5 is accepted, then the figure of 2,562 should be replaced with 3,207.

We propose the following amended wording:
"135 There are 3,1423,536 publicly available paid for car parking spaces to the south of the central area within approximately 10 minutes' walk from the shoreline (Appendix 9), serving both the seafront and southern parts of the Southend Central Area, and an additional 132 free on-street spaces available for visitors. 3,1622,562 of these spaces are located in publicly available key visitor car parks (Table 5). As a result of the peak capacity issues, as identified by the Car Parking Study, and to support the vitality and viability of the central seafront area, it is expected that there will be no net loss of key visitor car parking to the south of the Central Area."

Linked to this, we also consider the following Modifications to Paragraph 135 are essential to ensure that the Council's approach to the protection of key parking spaces is clear:
"Given the constraints and limited land availability of the Central Area, opportunities to increase car parking to the south will be limited, however where viable and feasible, the Council will seek further provision in association with development to allow for planned growth in seafront businesses, and a proportion of these spaces will be reserved for that purpose (i.e. not used to accommodate parking demand from a specific development). One example of this is the New Southend Museum (Opportunity Site CS1.4), which has planning permission for approximately 220 public car parking spaces. In addition, the Council will require the provision of appropriate levels of car parking spaces associated with development of the key car park themselves. This will involve no net loss of the existing car parking spaces, and sufficient additional spaces to accommodate the
development, in line with the requirements of Policy DS5 below.

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 5

Representation ID: 2926

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

We support the Modifications to the first bullet point, on the assumption that Table 5 is "corrected" to include all the key visitor car parks (see our objection to 'Main 7'). However, these amendments do not go far enough as they do not also amend the second part of the bullet point, which currently states: "...and to maintain overall capacity at a level that supports the vitality and viability of the SCAAP area, and enables the delivery of relevant Opportunity Sites". As currently worded, it states no net loss of key visitor car parks, but suggests that there is flexibility on "overall capacity" if it enables delivery of Opportunity Sites. This Modification does not, therefore, resolve our objection. To resolve our objection, the first bullet point should make reference to the overall level of parking and making it clear that development of Opportunity Sites retains existing levels as well as meeting its own needs. This issue was a key point made at the Examination, and as referred to in the RPS Response to Additional Document 13 (dated 14th July 2017), it is clear that the developer of the Seaway Site (Opportunity Site CS1.2) will potentially provide fewer spaces than are currently available without the development. This is extremely concerning and shows that the SCAAP as currently worded will not be effective. Our proposed modification for Paragraph 136 was simply aimed at clarifying the Council's expectation that if there is to be a redevelopment of an Opportunity Site then the existing spaces should be protected, and the development's own net needs should be additional to this, taking into account peak days for the seafront. The following amendment would resolve this objection:
"136 (first bullet point) ensure there is no net loss in key visitor car parking to the south of the Central Area (for the purposes of Policy DS5.2.b, these are the key visitor car parks (Table 5) located within 10 minutes' walk of the shoreline (see Map 4), and to maintain overall capacity at a level that supports the vitality and viability of the SCAAP area, generally aiming to retain the level of 3,668spaces as of June 2017, and enabling the delivery of relevant Opportunity Sites, whilst ensuring that these sites provide sufficient spaces to accommodate their own needs, in addition to protecting existing parking levels;

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 6

Representation ID: 2927

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

We object to the wording of Main 6. This will not be effective as it does not make it clear that at significant times of the year there is no capacity at all in the key visitor car parks. This lack of clarity has undoubtedly emerged because the Council has not undertaken car park surveys on any peak days (see RPS Response to Addendum to Additional Document 14, 11 August 2017), so it has not identified the extent of the problem. This issue was discussed at length at the Examination. This shortcoming with the evidence base is having a direct effect on the wording of policy and supporting text. It is essentially offering the developer a number of options for not providing the parking spaces that would be needed to support the proposed development. This would have the effect of eroding the availability of car parking spaces in the key visitor car parks, which could have a catastrophic effect on parking availability at peak times, causing significant queuing on key routes, illegal parking, poor visitor experience and ultimately a contraction in the visitor economy. This was all discussed at length at the Examination, and we are disappointed that the Council has not made this position clear in the SCAAP.
(The attached newspaper report from 30th August 2017 (see Enclosure 2) shows the extent of the problem at peak periods, which would be exacerbated by the loss of capacity - refer to full submission). The reference to "availability of parking in other convenient locations" is imprecise and would potentially allow developers to rely on car parks that are not well located in relation to the seafront, again eroding the capacity of key visitor car parks.
In addition, the reference to "opportunities for further mode shift through the travel plan process" is another potential route for developers to avoid providing car parking spaces which, if this does not result in the provision of sufficient additional car parking spaces, will again erode available spaces with very harmful results. Whilst of course travel plans are to be welcomed, this should not be worded as it is currently drafted, which uses travel plans as a reason for reducing supply. We support the final sentence as it requires a recognition of the need to accommodate peaks and troughs. However, the Council does not currently have data on the extent of peaks as it has undertaken no car park surveys on peak days. Whilst this is partly a development control issue, we would be reassured if the Council would state clearly that it will require Transport Assessments to consider the car parking requirements on peak days for the seafront area (as opposed to standard weekday network peaks) and ensure that there is no erosion of the resort's ability to accommodate visitor trips at these times. Otherwise there is a strong likelihood that developers will (as is normally the case) say that they will only propose to assess traffic and car parking usage on standard network peaks (Monday to Friday AM and PM peaks). This Paragraph must be clear that, because of the importance of these car parks to the seafront businesses at peak times, transport assessments must also consider these peak days and that either the developer or the Council must undertake surveys on peak days to quantify the usage of these spaces.
We would suggest that the Paragraph is reworded as follows to make it sound. Without this amendment the paragraph will not be effective in making it clear that developers must be able to understand how the development will protect the usage of these spaces by visitors to the seafront on peak days:
"Development proposals that come forward on key visitor car parking areas to the south of the Central Area (as defined by Map 4) will need to ensure that there is no net loss within the key visitor car parks as identified in the SCAAP (policy DS5.2.b) and Table 5. Any planning application would need to be accompanied by a detailed transport assessment that would include an analysis of the impact of the additional parking demand generated by the proposed development on the identified key visitor car parks during peak days for the seafront areas, having regard to adopted parking standards, linked/combined existing trips, availability of parking in other convenient locations, and opportunities for further mode shift through the travel plan process. Any change in parking provision as a result of major redevelopment must not undermine the resort's ability to accommodate visitor trips, recognising the peaks and troughs of demand for car parking. The transport assessment must include an analysis of parking availability on resort peak days, using up-to-date survey data of the usage of key visitor car parks in peak holiday periods."

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 7

Representation ID: 2928

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

Table 5 includes one error and a number of exclusions. The error is with the Seaway car park, and this is a significant and material error. At the meeting on 21st June the Council acknowledged that there were now 661 marked bays at Seaway car park. To use the figure of 478 spaces, which is out of date, will seriously underestimate the capacity of the car park by not protecting all spaces, which means the policy will not be justified by the evidence base, nor will it be effective as it will allow for a net loss of a very large number of spaces (up to 183)1. 1 The lease that the Council has entered into with Turnstone Southend Ltd only requires the provision of 480 spaces on this site. This perhaps explains why the Council is not acknowledging the current number of marked bays on this site, and emphasises the need for the SCAAP to get it right.
In our response to the Statement of Common Ground, Stockvale suggested that the number of 478 should be amended to 810 spaces, which is our understanding of its capacity, based on work undertaken by SK Architects. However, we consider that, at the very least, there should be a recognition of the car park's current capacity of 661 in the Table and this would be sufficient to resolve Stockvale's objection.
For the benefit of the Inspector, at the meeting on 21st June 2017, at which Stockvale and the Seafront Traders Association were attempting to agree the factual basis for the existing car parking capacity on Seaway and other sites, RPS asked the Council why it was only proposing to recognise 478 of the 661 spaces that are currently marked out on the site. The reason given was because the spaces had been created by moving the coach parking to another location, and the Council needed the flexibility to reinstate the coach spaces on the Seaway site if these spaces were no longer available to the Council. RPS asked the Council how protecting only 478 of the spaces would allow the coach spaces to be reinstated after the redevelopment of the site has proceeded. It seemed to us that if the area previously used by the coach spaces was to be protected now and in the future, this could only be achieved by recognising the full 661 spaces. The Council chose to not respond to this question. It seemed to RPS that the reason given by the Council for only identifying 478 spaces in Table 5 was not sound, because if there was a risk that the coach spaces may need to be reinstated on the Seaway site in future, this risk would equally apply before and after the redevelopment. This is not a suitable or sound basis on which to build a policy. Quite the contrary, the policy appears to be achieving the exact opposite of the outcome that the Council and Stockvale are both seeking. The Council wants to ensure flexibility for the reinstatement of coach parking spaces and Stockvale (and the Seafront Traders Association) want to protect existing car parking supply. Neither of those objectives would be served by reducing the number of spaces on the Seaway car park from 661 to 478.
This complete lack of logic (and accuracy) resulted in RPS investigating this further on behalf of Stockvale, as our clients are extremely concerned about the damage this policy will inflict on the resort. We needed to understand the basis for this approach of protecting the figure of 478 spaces at all costs, regardless of justification. A redacted copy of the Heads of Terms on which the agreement between Southend Borough Council and Turnstone Southend Limited was made available to RPS - this is attached in the full submission (see Enclosure 3). Under 'Proposed Development' on Page 2, it states:
"No less than 480 car parking spaces to serve the leisure element of the development".
So it appears to RPS that the Council's position is not based on the number of spaces that exist on the site (661), nor does it appear to be based on the need to allow flexibility for the reinstatement of coach parking spaces (as suggested at the meeting on 21st June 2017), as this would also require 661 spaces. It appears to be based on setting a level of parking that corresponds approximately to an Agreement for Lease with a developer. In short, this is not a sound planning basis for arriving at the number of spaces on the Seaway site; it is simply an attempt to ensure that a private agreement between the Council and a developer is honoured. This is quite simply not sound, not backed up by any of the reasons given by the Council, and certainly not backed up by any of the evidence provided by Stockvale or the Seafront Traders Association at the Examination. It is essential that this figure is corrected in the SCAAP to ensure that this table, and the policies and paragraphs that refer to this table, are sound.
(As an aside, RPS understands that, at more recent meetings, the Council has now amended its reasons for only identifying 478 of the 661 spaces on the site. It now states that the removal of coaches was permanent, but the additional spaces on Seaway that were created by the removal of coaches was "temporary". This latest position, as with the original position, is backed up by no evidence.)
A number of car parks have been excluded from this table:
Marine Plaza: Although there is a lawful development certificate for the car park confirming the lawful use of 67 spaces, this does not represent the actual capacity of the car park, which is 200. However, given that any appeal of the LDC will not be resolved in time for the Inspector's Report, Stockvale has accepted the figure of 67 spaces. It should, however, be identified as a Key Visitor Car Park, as it is arguably the most prominent car park on the seafront, being located at the junction between Southchurch Avenue and Marine Parade, and noted in a footnote that there is capacity for 200 across the whole site. The fact that it has an extant planning permission (which expires in July 2018) is not relevant. It is appropriate for the SCAAP to include policies against which any future applications can be considered as the SCAAP needs to respond to the possibility that this permission will expire and a new planning application will be submitted. This is entirely appropriate as Marine Plaza is an Opportunity Site, so the SCAAP should be providing consistent policies against which to consider planning applications.
Beach Road: We understand from the SOCG that the Council's reason for not including this car park is because it is not signed. In Stockvale's view, the designation of a key car park is not a function of whether it is signed, it is a function of the extent to which the car parks serve tourists visiting the town. As this site plays a key role, it should be included in the list of key car parks.
NCP Southend Central: We understand from the SOCG that SBC has not included this car park because it is attached to the station and primarily for users of this facility. This car park operates exactly the same way as The Royals Car Park. On weekends and school holidays it serves a joint shoppers and tourist role. It falls within Map 4 walking distance of the seafront, so should be included.
Premier Inn: In the SOCG it is made clear that the Council has excluded this car park because it is primarily used by customers of Premier Inn, albeit the car park is open to all. Stockvale is more flexible on this car park given its clear dual role, however in the daytime it operates as a visitor car park that serves day visitors. Although we can understand why it was excluded from the CPS, it would seem appropriate to at least identify it as a key visitor car park in the SCAAP.
Kursaal: The 104 car parking spaces at The Kursaal were previously private spaces for use of Kursaal customers only. This has now switched to a pay and display system where the spaces are publicly available.
Table 5 should be amended as follows to correct the error in relation to Seaway and to include the car parks that have been inexplicably excluded.

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 8

Representation ID: 2929

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

We support the inclusion of Map 4, and the use of isochrones. However, we object to the list of car parks identified as key visitor car parks and their capacities for the reasons set out in our Objection to Main 7. This should be amended to reflect the numbers set out in Main 7.

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 9

Representation ID: 2930

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

Stockvale considers that this policy is now closer to being sound and acceptable. However, we do not consider that it makes it clear that the reference to analysis of the impact of additional parking demand on the key visitor car parks should be an analysis that is based on peak days for the seafront area. As set out at length in the Examination, these are the days that matter for the tourism economy. As currently drafted it would not prevent a transport assessment from only assessing standard network peaks (weekday AM and PM peak) and not the resort peak. With a few minor modifications this can be resolved.
We suggest the policy is reworded as follows:
"Require any development proposals that come forward on key visitor car parking areas in the south of the Southend Central Area (as identified in Table 5 and Map 4) to ensure that there is no loss of key visitor car parking; any planning application in these areas would need to be accompanied by a detailed transport assessment that would include an analysis of the impact of the additional parking demand generated by the proposed development on the identified key visitor car parks on peak days for the seafront area, having regard to:
(i) Adopted parking standards;
(ii) Consideration of the extent to which linked/combined trips and opportunities for further mode shift through the travel plan process will reduce the need for additional publicly available car parking spaces;
(iii) Availability of parking to the south of the Central Area within the area shown in Map 4; and
(iv) The need for any replacement parking to be provided within the area shown in Map 4, where it should be secured through a planning condition or obligation as part of the overall development scheme or through another means acceptable to the Council. The replacement spaces must be brought into use prior to commencement of development of the key car park."
There also needs to be a paragraph that deals with the issue of temporary loss of spaces for development, noting the particular concern that emerged at the Examinations regarding developments that commence but do not complete, due to factors such as viability or developer going out of business. Given the importance of these spaces to the local economy, there needs to be a provision that ensures that protects as much as possible against this, as we suggested in the SOCG. This paragraph could be added to Policy DS5 2b: "Where a development will result in a temporary net loss in publicly available car parking spaces on any of the key visitor car parks identified in Table 5, the developer will need to either provide temporary replacement provision for the duration of the construction project, or secure a bond in favour of the Council to ensure that in the event that the development is not completed the car parking can be reinstated."
There should also be a clause that recognises the potential for new car parks to be developed, where such an opportunity may arise (for example, the gasworks site which has recently been reported in the press). This should ensure that at least some of these spaces are protected in the Plan in future to support growth in the tourism economy:
"Where an opportunity arises for the Council to develop a new car park in the area shown in Figure Map 4, the Council should identify a proportion of spaces (no less than 25%) that will be protected to allow for the predicted growth in visitor numbers to the seafront area."

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Support

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 10

Representation ID: 2931

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

This Modification is supported as it clarifies that any replacement parking should be provided in the south of the Central Area, not the town centre as a whole because these car parking spaces play an important role in supporting the tourism economy.

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Support

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 11

Representation ID: 2932

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

This Modification is supported and the consideration of parking is welcomed.

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Comment

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 21

Representation ID: 2933

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

We suggest the following amendments to ensure that the monitoring criteria reflects the correct number of spaces: "Providing the level of publicly available car parking provision to support the vitality and viability of the Central Area:-
- Keep car parking capacity, demand and traffic management provisions under review to ensure that this capacity remains at a level to support the vitality and viability of Southend Central Area.
- Monitor the success in achieving no net loss of key visitor car parking (Table 5, 2,562 3,162 spaces) to the south of the Central Area (Map 4).
- Monitor any net change in overall paid for public parking within Central Area South (3,142 3,668 spaces) as outlined in Appendix 9.
As Core Strategy policy CP3. As Development Management policy DM15."

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

Object

Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP) - Schedule of Modifications to the Revised Proposed Submission

Main 22

Representation ID: 2934

Received: 22/09/2017

Respondent: Stockvale Group

Representation Summary:

We support the addition of a new Appendix, as proposed in this Modification. However, the content of the Appendix needs to be amended to reflect the correct capacities, as it contains a number of errors. It will also need to be amended to reflect our proposed changes in Main 7. We have also added in a number of streets that have been excluded from the Table, as set out in our response to the Statement of Common Ground.
Appendix 9 - Publically available Parking to the South of the Central Area (area defined by Figure X)*

Full text:

Please find attached RPS's representations jointly made on behalf of both The Stockvale Group and The Seafront Traders Association regarding the Proposed Modifications to the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP). The completed forms can be found in Enclosure No. 1 of this document, and should be read in conjunction with the statement and other representations made by RPS with respect to the SCAAP.

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