Residents protest at level of flats parking
PARKING proposals for homes planned on the site of a former pub have been criticised by long-suffering neighbours.
The proposal for 12 flats on the site of the former Valley pub in Croydon Road, Caterham, which closed 18 months ago, includes just 12 parking spaces.
But beleaguered residents in nearby traffic-choked Farningham Road say such meagre parking provision will throw yet more vehicles onto neighbouring streets.
Lisa Stewart, a 31-year-old freelance make-up artist who lives on the road, said: "Parking here is horrendous as it is, without adding to it.
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"Several times our bins have not been collected because the refuse lorries can't get through. If I nip out to buy baby food or something, I risk losing the parking space outside my house.
"We have to put rubbish bins in the space – otherwise I face about a 400-metre walk to the house from where I end up parking, often carrying heavy shopping."
She said some of their friends are deterred from visiting them because of the chronic congestion.
Neighbour Anthony Robinson, objecting to the plan on Tandridge District Council's website, said: "The parking provision is ludicrous for an area already at bursting point for residents' street parking.
"Let's hope there is not a big fire in Farningham Road."
Valley ward district councillor Jill Caudle said Surrey County Council planned to carry out consultation later this year on a residents' parking permit scheme for Farningham, Commonwealth and Beechwood Roads.
She said: "Such a scheme would cut out commuter parking in these congested roads.
"A residents' scheme would enable people to park a car near their own homes – but most households have two vehicles nowadays."
Cllr Caudle said that dozens of flats have gone up in Croydon Road in recent years. Many of them have only one parking space apiece – leading to parking problems onto nearby roads.
Beverley Connolly, district councillor for Harestone, said the former pub had a dubious reputation, but she had hoped a more upmarket venue could open there instead.
She added: "This flats plan represents overdevelopment, with insufficient parking."
Anoop Hothi, of Hothi Property Consultants, the planning agent behind the application, said one parking space had been allotted per flat "in order to restrict the use of private cars".
He said the development would only be about 300 yards from Caterham railway station, and that the level of parking spaces was "suitable".