Stanmer Park Traffic Regulation Order

Date of Meeting:

29 September 2020

Report of:

Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Jonathan Dall

Robert Walker


01273 295037

01273 294349



Ward(s) affected:

Hollingdean & Stanmer






1.1         The purpose of this report is to consider comments and objections to the draft Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the introduction of charges and parking controls in Stanmer Park.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That, having taken account of all duly made representations and objections, the Committee approves as advertised the following order:

Brighton & Hove (Stanmer Park) Various Restrictions and Off-Road Parking Order 202* (TRO-2-2020)

with minor amendments in response to the consultation, as set out in paragraphs 5.5, 5.7 and 5.9 of the report.


2.2         That Committee agree that should, during implementation, the Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture consider that further minor changes to the TRO are appropriate, such changes are advertised as an amendment Traffic Regulation Order.


2.3         That the Committee approve that all income from parking charges in Stanmer Park is used towards improved access, management and maintenance of Stanmer Park.


2.4         That Committee agree that the parking scheme be reviewed 18 months after implementation to consider how well it is working and to recommend any amendments to the scheme and whether the income raised from the parking scheme gives scope for subsidising public transport to and within Stanmer Park with any recommendations for changes to the scheme to be presented in a report to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability (ETS) Committee.


2.5         That Committee agree for officers to consult with residents and businesses located in Stanmer village street on a separate parking scheme for Stanmer village, and report back to the November 2020 meeting of the ETS Committee.




3.1         There have been long-standing problems with parking at Stanmer including:

(a)  The current locations of some of the car parks in the designed 18th century landscape detract from its heritage value.

(b)  The car parks to the south of the park are often full of non-park users, parking all day. A significant amount of this parking is considered to be associated with the universities. Buses and emergency vehicles have been blocked and disrupted on occasions by cars parked on the main drive.

(c)  A perception by some members of the public that parking anywhere is acceptable at Stanmer Park, in many cases affecting access for pedestrians, those with disabilities and other vulnerable park users.


3.2         The council has committed to become Carbon Neutral by 2030 and has policies which encourage active ways of travel and to promote the use of public transport, to reduce carbon emissions. Public buses already stop at the Lower Lodges entrance to Stanmer Park and the number 78 bus travels to the centre of the park at weekends. A “green drive” is being constructed which will make the journey from the Lower Lodges to the centre of the park easier and more enjoyable for walkers and cyclists throughout the year. The council will continue to encourage visitors to use sustainable forms of travel to the park but some may continue to require vehicle access to the park. There will be designated parking bays for blue badge holders in the car parks and there will be no charge for blue badge holders if the TRO is implemented.


3.3         A report was presented to the October 2016 meeting of the ETS Committee which set out proposals to introduce charges and control parking in Stanmer Park. The Committee approved the proposals as set out in the report, subject to the statutory consultation process for a TRO and receiving Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funding for the restoration of Stanmer Park.


3.4         The Council was awarded a grant of £3.8m by the HLF in January 2017 towards the restoration of Stanmer Park. The project is restoring and interpreting the heritage of important features including the historic walled garden, as well as protecting at-risk buildings.


3.5         In the business plan which was developed in August 2016 as part of the application for a Heritage Lottery grant, the net income from parking charges was estimated at approximately £300,000 per year. Income from parking will be ring-fenced for use in Stanmer Park and the wider estate, to continue the investment and protection of important historic structures, improvement of access and management and maintenance of the park.


3.6         If the TRO is approved, parking controls and charges will be introduced following the completion of the restoration works in December 2020. The draft TRO was published in March 2020 and the statutory consultation continued to 29 May 2020. The TRO proposals are set out in detail in appendices 1-4 to this report.


3.7         The draft TRO proposes new parking controls and charges in the following car parks: Upper Lodges, Chalk Hill, Patchway, Lower Lodges East and Lower Lodges West. The Church car park, Patchway A and Patchway B are proposed as overflow car parks. Also, by prior agreement, parking for events would be available on two areas of grass  at Lower Lodges. Parking on the Stanmer Estate Roads would be restricted to no stopping, waiting or loading at any time, with loading bays outside the museum and walled garden, pick up and drop off point opposite Stanmer House and bus/coach stop south of the Long Barn. Parking charges in all of the car parks except The Patchway would be in a range from £1 for one hour to £5 for all day. Parking in The Patchway car park would range from £1.50 for one hour to £6.50 for all day. The proposals and charges are set out in detail at appendix 3 to this report.


3.8         The proposals set out in the draft TRO are essentially the same as those which were approved by the ETS Committee in October 2016. The only change of significance is the omission of an annual parking season ticket. This had been priced at £90 in the October 2016 proposals. Since then, the annual parking cost for University of Sussex car parks has risen to £360. This would mean that an annual ticket for Stanmer car parks would have to be at a similar level to deter University use and would therefore not be attractive to regular Stanmer visitors.




4.1         The only alternative option would be not to implement the proposed parking controls and charges. This would mean that car parks would continue to be filled by non-park users and there would be insufficient income available to maintain the park adequately and to invest in future improvements. This would have a negative impact on visitors and also mean that we would break our agreement with the HLF. They have invested over £3m in the park and expect the improvements made possible by their investment to be properly maintained and managed,




5.1         The proposed TRO was advertised in Stanmer Park and on the council website from 20th March 2020 – see Notice at Appendix 4. Notices were also posted through doors in Stanmer Park. Restrictions on movement following the Covid-19 pandemic caused a concern that park visitors would not be aware of the proposals and therefore the consultation period was extended twice, finally ending on 29th May 2020.


5.2         Responses to the consultation are summarised at Appendix 5 to this report, with a table of responses at Appendix 6. Appendix 7 contains the consultation response from Brighton Dogwatch. There were 113 responses, of which 106 were objections and 7 were in support. Taking each group of responses in turn:


5.3         Objections to having to pay for parking at all: Motor vehicles do cause wear and tear to the estate roads and car parks. Income from car parking charges will be ring-fenced for improving access to the park, the management and maintenance of the roads, car parks, landscape and buildings in the park and to invest in future improvements.


5.4         Proposed charges are too high: The charges proposed in the draft TRO are unchanged from the proposals approved by the ETS Committee in October 2016.


5.5         Charging hours of Upper Lodges car park: These had been proposed as 9 am to 8 pm in line with the other car parks. However, the gate to this car park is locked at 5 pm for security reasons. Therefore, it is proposed to set the charging hours for Upper Lodges as 9am to 5pm.


5.6         Too much parking in centre of park: The proposed charges are lower in the Lower Lodges car parks than in the Patchway car park, to encourage drivers to park at Lower Lodges and then walk or cycle to the centre of the park


5.7         More designated disabled spaces needed: There will be no charge for holders of a disabled badge. Disabled spaces will already be designated in the Lower Lodges and Patchway car parks. It is now proposed to designate disabled spaces in the Upper Lodges, Chalk Hill and Church car parks.


5.8         Improved bus services: It has always been an ambition to encourage more public transport access to Stanmer and improve bus services by providing a subsidy. In future, it may be possible to fund this from parking charges and this will be considered when the actual amount of income from parking is known.


5.9         Church car park: In the report to the October 2016 ETS Committee meeting, it was proposed that the Church car park be restricted for events and business activities associated with the occupation of the traditional agricultural buildings in Stanmer village. Therefore, the Church car park was shown as for overflow use in the draft TRO. However, no development of these buildings has subsequently taken place and it is now proposed to make the Church car park available on all days.


5.10      Village parking scheme: As in the proposal agreed by the ETS Committee in October 2016, Stanmer village street is not included in the proposed TRO. Both before and during the consultation, residents raised concerns that charges elsewhere could result in park visitors parking their vehicles in the village street. Meetings have already taken place between council officers and village residents and an assurance given that, if displacement parking becomes an issue, the introduction of a separate controlled parking scheme in the village street would be considered. The details of such a scheme would need to be discussed with residents and the proposed scheme brought back to the ETS Committee. If possible, this would be the November 2020 committee meeting.


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1         The proposals in this TRO are essentially the same as the proposals already approved by the ETS Committee in October 2016, with the omission of an annual permit for the reasons outlined in Para 3.8.


6.2         In the consultation, there were a high number of objections and these were mostly against the principle of charging motorists for parking in Stanmer Park. However, parking charges would be the main source of income which is needed in order to manage and maintain the park to an acceptable level. Parking charges will also deter use by drivers who are not visiting the park. Many visitors to the park, both now in and in the future, will continue to arrive by public transport, on foot, or on bicycles and will therefore not be affected by parking charges.


6.3         The scheme should be reviewed 18 months after implementation when the pattern of car park usage and income is known. For example, adjustments to levels and hours of charging may be proposed. Also, the level of income from parking may be sufficient to subsidise buses to and within Stanmer Park.




Financial Implications:


7.1         The Stanmer Park restoration project was financed using a combination of Heritage Lottery Grant, council capital receipts and partner contributions. The terms of the HLF grant require the council to improve accessibility for all users and provide car parking for the anticipated number of visitors. The council is also required to ensure that the park receives sufficient ongoing maintenance and investment to maintain the park for future use.


7.2         The parking income will be used to support the enforcement and administration of the car parking controls in Stanmer Park. Residual income from car parking charges will be ring-fenced in a reserve for use in Stanmer Park and the wider estate to continue the investment and protection of important historic structures, improvement of access and management and maintenance of the park.


7.3         The draft TRO charges are detailed in Appendix 3 and it is not recommended that an annual season permit be included for the reasons detailed in paragraph 3.8 above.


7.4         The parking scheme will be reviewed after an 18 month period to establish the level of income and usage. Any further amendments to the proposed level of charges, hours and rates will be reported back to this committee.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     Rob Allen                                      Date: 24/8/20


Legal Implications:


7.5         Traffic Regulation Orders are made under the provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (“the Act”).The Council’s powers and duties under the Act must be exercised to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of all types of traffic and the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway. Before making Traffic Orders, the Council must consider all duly made, unwithdrawn objections.


7.6         Under sections 32 and 35 of the Act there is power to provide off-street parking places and to regulate their use for the purpose of relieving or preventing congestion. The powers include a power to charge for use.


 Lawyer consulted: Hilary Woodward                                           Date: 19/8/20




            Equalities Implications:


7.7         The proposed scheme will improve access within the park, with designated spaces and free parking for blue badge holders in each of the car parks.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.8         The proposals for parking charges mean that there will be a greater incentive for visitors to travel to the park by more sustainable means such as walking, cycling and public transport.


7.9         As noted above, improved and subsidised public transport facilities could be funded from parking charges. This will be considered when the actual amount of income from parking is known.


Brexit Implications:


7.10      No Brexit implications identified.







TRO documents

1.            Statement of Reasons (SOR)

2.            TRO Plans

3.            Draft TRO including charges

4.            TRO Notice


5.            Consultation report

6.            Consultation responses table

7.            Response from Brighton Dogwatch


Background Documents


1.            Stanmer Park Traffic Regulation Order - report to ETS Committee October 2016