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Islington Tribune - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 27 November 2009
Parking loophole

• SINCE it was first mooted many years ago, Ellington Street Residents’ Association has been very supportive of the new development in Arundel Square, Holloway, which will complete the square and extend the gardens. Now that the development is nearing completion, however, we find a problem which will have a material adverse impact on the square and its surroundings.
It has always been accepted that the residents of the development, which comprises 147 apartments, would not be eligible for parking permits. This is in accordance with planning policy and applies to all other similar developments in Islington. The development does have underground car parking for 68 cars, and there is car club membership for those who do not take up car parking places.
The problem lies in the paperwork. Planning permission was granted in 2001 but the S106 agreement was only finalised and signed in November 2007. The S106 agreement has, however, a fundamental flaw: it has failed to include the clause specifying that residents in the development would not be eligible for on-street parking.
This omission means that the development now no longer complies with a policy seen as being essential to reduce car usage in London. This is reflected in the fact that there is already increased pressure on the very limited available parking space in Arundel Square and adjoining roads and that will become considerably greater as apartments are sold.
The planning department has known about this problem for some time, but so far has remained silent. Time is however of the essence if the problem is not to become a fait accompli. The only people happy with this unexpected turn of events is the developer. All the evidence shows that it knew its development was proceeding on the basis that it excluded parking permits. It is now, however, refusing to work with the community to come up with a solution to the problems caused.
While the developer might be congratulating itself on providing a “fourth side” to what has been called a “scruffy” square, the road running in front of the development will be private. It will be for the sole use of the development’s residents. It is to be called Blackthorn Avenue, rather than Arundel Square, and will be kept car-free.
This is the second time recently that faulty council paperwork has had a negative impact on the community. Amber Court, in Liverpool Road, was a property owned by the council. It provided small rooms with shared services for people needing this kind of care. The council sold the property to Circle 33 with a certificate covering its continuing use.
Circle 33 sold the property on to a developer based in the British Virgin Islands. Its lawyers realised that the certificate wording was flawed and as a result the property was converted to flats for rent on the open market. This gave rise to a windfall development gain measured in many millions, from which the public purse gained nothing.
Attention to detail is vital if plans are not to go badly wrong when executed. The planning department, rather than going to ground, should come out fighting and tell us how it intends to remedy the problem it is responsible for in Arundel Square.
David Trillo
Ellington Street Residents’ Association

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Islington Tribune, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to Deadline for letters is midday Wednesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld . Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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