There are a number of flaws in the design of the proposed car park that make it not fit for purpose. The table below consolidates our concerns which have been entered in the planning system.
|Parking spaces are too small
||Take a look at the scale plan of the car park and the way car images are placed in the spaces. It would not be possible to open the doors if two cars park side by side.The results will be:
|No pedestrian routes
||After parking a car the passengers and their bits and bobs need to alight and move from
the car park. As a beach car park in summer this will include lots of children and lots of bits and bobs. In the summer there will be cars constantly moving round the car park looking for spaces. The result will be:
|No pedestrian access to Overstrand Road
||The only pedestrian exit from the car park is at the north-west corner into the Park, from where pedestrians will walk through the Park and into town missing the east end of the town.
|Pedestrian access to Park
||Take a look at the scale plan of the car park and look at the only pedestrian exit and ask why no-one has thought about how to accommodate the flow of pedestrians to and from the car park.
A narrow exit such as proposed would cause pedestrian, wheelchair, pushchairs to ‘tail back’ into the car park causing further unnecessary risk to pedestrians.
|Car Park entrance
||Take a look at the scale plan of the car park and look at where the entrance to the car park is, just to the west of the exit lane; without clear signage (not just a bodpave insert) drivers could easily enter on the exit lane causing holdups.
Whilst the ‘sweep analysis’ shows cars entering from the east and leaving to the west (which they can’t do on the current road system), there is no sweep analysis for car circulating, and the plan suggests this could be difficult
|Take a look at the NNDC overflow car park, behind the Police Station on Holt Road in Cromer, which was made with this system and is currently unusable because it is coming apart.Whilst Bodpave can be successfully used in parking bays, on traffic routes where vehicles turn sharply (as in a car park) it can be problematic (as is seen from the NNDC overflow car park).
The gravel surface isn’t really suited for a conservation heritage site where a more
The gravel surface isn’t ideal for wheel chair use.
||Take a look at the NNDC overflow carpark, behind the Police Station on Holt Road in Cromer, which was made with this system and see if you can see the plastic inserts that mark out the spaces and think about how significant direction arrows will be.
The design of the car park is such that there is not space for other signs so the only way drivers will know there is a one way system is through the plastic inserts.
|Other signage / street furniture
||There will be a need for other signs in the car park, such as to indicate to pedestrians how to get out of the park, where the pay meters are, and where the cycle park is. Additional furniture such as waste bins are proposed for the planted areas, ie behind where the cars will be parked so impossible to use|
||The pay meters will be placed opposite the entry point to the car park where pedestrians waiting to pay will be most at risk|
|No motorcycle spaces
|Entrance 6ft barrier
||The barrier will be a heritage design, spanning about 6 metres, about 8 feet from the ground (ideal height for people to swing from)
|Restrict vehicles to Park
||The park driveway will be mistaken for the car park and vehicle numbers in the park will increase.
There is already a problem with unauthorised vehicles, driving too fast, parking in odd places and turning where children are playing. There is no proposal in this design for how this will be addressed.
|NNDC standard on cycle parking is that it should:
||The cycle parking has been moved in the latest design to be adjacent to the pedestrian exit from the car park into the Park
|Excavations near trees
||The proposal is to excavate the current surface and replace with a Bodpave and gravel covering. This will require excavations of at least 500mm less than a metre from mature trees in the Park. An independent arboricultural assessment would determine the impact of this on the trees and influence the design.|
|Entrance to new toilets
||Unfortunately there are no measurements on the plan but an estimate shows the ramp to the toilets to be too steep.
The lower end of the ramp is in the middle of pedestrian exit to the car which will
cause risk to wheel chair users, and pedestrians.The small turning area at the bottom of the ramp would make it difficult to turn wheelchairs and mobility scooters safely.
|Potential of bats in building
||NNDC acknowledge bats fly around the Park but, contrary to legislation, no independent bat survey has been completed, although a planning officer has stated: “it is recommended that the removal of the roof covering (felt) be executed under a Method Statement to ensure that, on the small chance a bat is discovered, proper procedure is followed.”
There has been no independent assessment of the impact of cars, their lights, noise and pollution on the bats in the Park.
|Assessment of noise and pollution
||Creating a car park in a quiet park in a residential area will increase traffic,
particularly slow moving traffic which causes the most pollution and noise.Increased pollution in a recreational area, particularly where children are playing, is a major consideration and an assessment of this should be undertaken to, at least, see if there are any mitigating design features that could alleviate the impact.
||There has been no assessment of the effectiveness of the lighting plan, nor the
impact on local residents, or wildlife (including protected species such as bats).Lighting schemes can be costly and difficult to change, so getting the design right up front is critical; there is no independent assessment (other than a manufacturer’s proposal) that the planned lighting scheme is
||Traffic flow around Cromer is difficult in the summer; this proposal is for a car park on a route where traffic is discouraged so there will need to be a significant change to traffic flow to facilitate use of this car park:
Answer to these questions are a key part of the decision process and should have
Highways have stated that “no works shall commence on site … until a detailed scheme for the off-site highway improvement[s]…”