Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


(a)          Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public;


(1)      Prohibit pavement parking in Crescent Place Kemp Town

(2)      Stop the current Hanover & Tarner LTN. Bring ‘liveable’ benefits to all the Hanover & Elm Grove ward

(3)      Controlled parking for Withdean Court Avenue

(4)      Rename a street in the memory of Ukrainian war victims

(5)      Allow dogs off-lead at Waterhall alongside rewilding


(b)         Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 15 June 2022;


(c)          Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 15 June 2022.


(1)      Wilson Avenue



(A)          Petitions


1)             Prohibit pavement parking in Crescent Place Kemp Town


5.1          The Committee considered a petition signed by 24 people requesting the prohibition of pavement parking on Crescent Place.


5.2          The Chair provided the following response:


“Thank you for your petition. I sympathise with residents who have to deal with cars parked on the pavement.  We have been actively lobbying the government to provide Councils with more powers to ban pavement parking. The government consulted in 2020 on this issue and we continue to wait to hear back about their next steps.  Officers are reluctant to increase sign clutter by placing non-enforceable No pavement signs on these roads which may also cause confusion to visitors to the area. The pavements behind the double yellow lines are currently enforceable and since January, we have issued 3 PCNs to vehicles parked partially on the pavement on Crescent’s Place. While this is not in itself a large number, it is 30% of all PCNs issued in this time at this location, with evidence that in most instances drivers are moving their vehicles before a PCN can be issued. While we wait for the necessary power, we will continue to explore options to tackle prohibit pavement parking”.


5.3          Resolved- That the committee note the petition.


2)             Stop the current plan for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN), known as ‘Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood Project


5.4          The Committee considered a petition signed by 379 people requesting the council stop the current plan for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN), in Hanover and Tarner and devise a plan that benefitted the whole of the Hanover & Elm Grove ward equally.


5.5          The Chair provided the following response:


“Thank you for presenting your petition today Alison, which has been supported by a number of people.  We also welcome the views and participation of local people and stakeholders in the engagement that there has been on this project so far with officers and your ward councillors in recent meetings and co-production workshops.

The Liveable Neighbourhood pilot project is an item on today’s agenda and the officer report which includes the proposed plan, engagement reports, and draft Project Monitoring Framework, will be discussed later.  The report outlines how the plan has been developed through a combination of technical design and responses to stakeholder feedback.  Through this process, the plan ensures that the residential roads which are part of the boundary to the area will be an integral part of the project and they will be treated in a way that improves them by making them safer, healthier, greener and more attractive for their residents and businesses, and all those who use them. 

You have rightly pointed out that there is research on other Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, including some in London, and that these have shown varying results on changes in traffic flows.

That is why we have made this a pilot project and undertaken a range of engagement to gather views.  We will also monitor the results of the various local changes while taking account of other changes across the city to make sure that the pilot scheme will fulfil its objectives and make it a success.

Measures will include new crossing points and traffic calming measures to make streets safer.  Raised areas for flowers and shrubs and better landscaping will also be introduced.  Other wider city initiatives will also help improve local environments where traffic flows are higher.   The  boundary roads provide regular bus services for local people and are part of the network that carries general traffic across the city.  Further upgrades in bus fleet and the council’s fleet are currently in the process of transitioning over to greener and in some cases to fully electric engine technology, and more electric vehicles are being used as we increase the availability of charging points.  The project will also include twelve new air quality monitors across the scheme.  Most of these will be on the boundary roads, and there will be real-time monitors in two schools including Elm Grove Primary and a third in Orchard Day Nursery on Queens Park Road as part of a new scheme that has been started.

We know that pavement parking and driving on pavements creates real dangers that residents should simply not have to tolerate.  It is not acceptable that we do not have the powers to address this in an efficient way, as we should not have to reclaim pavement space for pedestrians from vehicles because of the current law.  We have been actively leading work for nearly 10 years to tackle this across the city and continuously lobbying the Government for the powers that we need to fully address it.  We are still waiting for the outcome of the national consultation that finally took place in 2020, but if there is no positive decision soon, then we will have to consider taking more local action to address this, especially in Elm Grove.  

The next step for the wider project involves wider public consultation and we look forward to continuing to work with the local community and receiving and responding to people’s views.  This will help us further review and revise the scheme over the coming months, before it is reported back to this committee later this year for a final decision on the design.  Works to the boundary roads are proposed to be permanent, but there will also be a further 6-month consultation period during which we can decide if we need to amend parts of the scheme that are introduced within an experimental traffic regulation order.  There will then be a further twelve months within which a decision will need to be made about whether those measures are made permanent or should be removed.  The approach to monitoring and continued engagement will enable us to record and be notified of any significant issues, which can then be reviewed.  If further action is necessary, it will be taken. 


The initial discussions and decisions that were the catalyst for bring forward this project have now, quite rightly, been broadened out into the wider community and generated further discussion and debate.  Thank you for therefore presenting your petition, which further assists us as a committee in hearing and understanding people’s views about the proposals. These will continue to be taken into account as the design work progresses.  This will help us get the right balance of measures across a wide area.  Monitoring will then help us understand how to achieve the best outcomes possible to make your local area a more liveable neighbourhood for everyone”.


5.6          Resolved- That the committee note the petition.


3)             Controlled parking for Withdean Court Avenue


5.7          The petition was deferred to the next meeting.


4)             Rename a street in the memory of Ukrainian war victims


5.8          The committee considered a petition signed by 4 people requesting Francis Street by renamed in memory of Ukrainian war victims.


5.9          The petitioner was unable to attend so a written response was provided.


5.10      Resolved- That the committee note the petition.


5)             Allow  dogs off-lead at Waterhall alongside rewilding


5.11      The committee considered a petition signed by 1264 people requesting the council to abandon the decision to ban off-lead dogs across all of Waterhall.


5.12      The Chair provided the following response:


Thank you for your petition.


Dog walking at the former Waterhall Golf course was not  permitted other than on public rights of way. We appreciate that in the time that the golf course was operational some residents and dog walking businesses became used to exercising dogs over the whole site. Dogs can still be exercised off lead in the lower section of Waterhall and many other parks and open spaces in the city. However, the site cannot cope with the volume of dogs being exercised whilst trying to achieve our objectives of rewilding and restoring the biodiversity of the site.

In rewilding Waterhall, the council has sought to encourage public access and is in the process of designating the site as statutory open access. This does however require dogs to be kept on leads during the bird nesting season and around livestock in recognition of the impact they can have on them.

Dogs also impact other wildlife, in particular cold-blooded animals which need to bask to regulate their body temperature. Frequent disturbance impacts on their ability to hunt and reproduce and leads to a decline in numbers.

Disturbance by off lead dogs also affects other users of the site with reports of stolen volunteers’ lunches and dogs entering the building and urinating on the furniture.

The council has funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund for an Education Ranger and from Countryside Stewardship to provide school visits to the site. These are not feasible with large numbers of off lead dogs, as have been experienced at Waterhall

Dog excrement is also an issue in low fertility habitats, such as the species rich chalk grassland we are trying to manage for at Waterhall. Dog faeces and urine increase the fertility of the ground favouring the more common coarser species over the rarer wildflowers.

The wildflowers are important for the insects and other species that they support. By requiring dogs to be kept on leads and encouraging people to use waymarked paths, this impact can be limited and kept away from the more sensitive areas.

Flea treatments used on dogs can have a serious impact on aquatic species.

Constant disturbance of ponds also releases nutrients from the sediments which can lead to algal blooms which limit oxygen and can make the water toxic. The sediment in the water also limits the penetration of sunlight into the pond limiting its ability to support wildlife.

With respect to displacement, Waterhall is already suffering displacement from Stanmer Park as many dog walkers have started using Waterhall to avoid paying parking charges at Stanmer. These dog walkers are already potentially increasing their travel if they live closer to Stanmer and are now travelling to Waterhall.

Due to its location, most dog walkers who access Waterhall arrive by vehicle. If these dog walkers used sites closer to where they live, they could reduce their C02 emissions.

The council is not alone in seeking to limit the impact of dogs on biodiversity. Other Nature Reserve have limited access to some or all areas such as Sussex Wildlife Trust’s reserve at Woods Mill where dogs are not allowed and at Knepp where they limit all public access to some areas.

This petition should be considered in light of a petition to the January 2020 Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee which received 5216 signatories asking it to ‘Create a Haven for Wildlife and Wellbeing by Restoring Biodiversity of Hollingbury and Waterhall golf courses’.

The council allows dog walking on almost all of its untenanted land and has not prioritised wildlife over dog walking on any other site despite declaring a biodiversity emergency”.


5.13      On behalf of the Conservative Group, Councillor Nemeth moved a motion to request an officer report on the matter.


5.14      Councillor Bagaeen formally seconded the motion.


5.15      The Chair put the motion to the vote that failed.


5.16      Resolved- That the committee note the petition.


(B)          Written Questions


1)             Valley Gardens


5.17      Derek Wright put the following question:


“Lots of desire paths have been made through the flower and meadow beds in Victoria Gardens trampling the plants. Low fencing to protect the flowers and plants has been promised by City Parks and Transport officers for years, when will they be installed?”


5.18      The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thank you for your question. It is disappointing to see that some people are trampling on the plants in Victoria Gardens. We are considering the options to prevent this in the future and as you suggest fencing does appear to be the required to enable this.

We are developing a costed business case to introduce fencing in some areas. We are currently recruiting to a Parks Team Leader who will focus on managing Valley Gardens, The Level and planted areas along the seafront. Once this person is in post, we would be able to move forward with some of the improvements we wish to make and will be aiming to install fencing before the next growing season. However please be aware that this will be budget dependent and may need to be done in phases focussing on the most problematic areas first”.


2)             Elm Grove LTN


5.19      Ben Kelly put the following question:


“Whilst Elm Grove is included in the liveable neighbourhood scheme, it also features as a ‘Strategic Route’ in the LCWIP. Due to the gradient, there is a large differential in speed between cyclists and motor vehicles, when heading uphill. This makes it particularly hostile and dangerous for cyclists. Initial investigations indicate that an uphill cycle route could be included without the loss of legal parking, and without any impact on the proposed greening of Elm Grove. A downhill cycle route should also be fully investigated. Can the Chair confirm that the plans also include safe cycling provision along this route?”


5.20      The Chair provided the following reply:


“Thank you for your question. You have made a very valid point by referring to our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. This is also reflected in paragraph 3.8 of the report on the Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood which we will be discussing later.

In summary, although the current proposals do not include specific cycling measures in Elm Grove, the potential opportunities for developing cycling infrastructure as part of the Elm Grove/Warren Road LCWIP route will be taken into account in the further development of scheme design to ensure that they can be considered in the future. We would, of course, welcome suggestions about cycling provision within the Hanover & Tarner scheme in response to the consultation that will be starting later this year, and I hope you will consider doing so.

We have also been made aware that there was a recent collision in Elm Grove involving a cyclist and we clearly need to find out more from the Police about the circumstances associated with that unfortunate incident. Our thoughts are certainly with those who sustained injuries”.


3)             Hollingdean Parking


5.21      Nick Maylon put the following question:


“The Hollingdean parking scheme seems to be delayed once again. Consultations promised before Christmas eventually were delivered in April. The results of these consultations were due to be presented to this committee today, but this hasn't happened. It now looks like we will have a further 3-month delay despite apparent overwhelming support for a scheme.

Will the Chair agree to compensate residents for the 7-month (and counting) delays so far (perhaps by half-price resident parking in year 1) or find a way to get the scheme back on track?”


5.22      The Chair provided the following reply:


Myself and Officers apologise for the delay with the start of this consultation which is due to a number of factors but mainly because of the delay of the implementation of the Surrenden parking scheme and previous staff shortages.

Despite these challenges officers have been working extremely hard to consult this area as soon as we can. Due to the size of the Hollingdean consultation area this has taken slightly longer than anticipated and Officers are still analysing the results of the preliminary consultation which will be presented to this Committee in September.

Our parking scheme timetable is subject to change but Officers are hoping any previous delays may be reduced towards the end of the consultation period, however compensating residents for delays to any programmed parking scheme is not deemed appropriate”.


5.23      Nick Maylon asked the following supplementary question:


“Would it be possible for the council to publish a timeline to see what resources can be put in (to CPZ consultations) please? Because I’m sure that with the revenues that come in, resources could be put in that would both help the council and reduce unnecessary pollution”.


5.24      The Chair provided the following reply:


“I’ll bring you that timeline via email”.


(C)          Deputations


1)             Wilson Avenue


5.25      The Committee considered a deputation on excessive speeding and dangerous driving on Wilson Avenue.


5.26      The Chair provided the following response:


“I am fully receptive to the concerns you’ve raised and would like to see what can be done to address the issues raised.

Wilson Avenue was included in the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan agreed at the last committee as a longer-term priority. However, I have instructed officers to consider the need for shorter-term measures and the feasibility of introducing these. Any change to a speed limit has to be agreed by the Police as enforcement authority. The Police have limited resources and if a limit is imposed that drivers do not respect and consequently ignore then they have an unrealistic burden placed upon them. We will place speed recording devices in Wilson Avenue in the near future and if speeds are close to 30mph then we will approach the Police and see if they would agree to a lowered speed limit.

I am hoping what the committee will do is agree to note this deputation but what I’ve instructed Transport officers to do is look into an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order on your road to bring down the speed limit to 30mph”.


5.27      Resolved- That the committee note the deputation.


2)             Request the Council to support the creation of a Pocket Park on the footpath at the southern end of St Aubyns, Hove


5.28      The Committee considered a deputation requesting the creation of a Pocket Park on the southern end of St Aubyns, Hove to improve the area.


5.29      The Chair provided the following response:


“Thank you for presenting your deputation today Heather. Greening the city is an important part of improving our public spaces and can contribute to helping tackle climate change and improving drainage, as well building community cohesion and providing soft landscaping to create more attractive places for people to enjoy their local area. Pocket parks or parklets can play an important role in achieving this, and we can see that there has been some interesting and ambitious concept design work done to show what this area could look like if planting and seating were combined to use this particular space in a different way.

We are developing an assessment framework to enable us to consider and respond to various requests which can help make neighbourhoods and local areas more liveable. The framework will be presented to this committee later this year, and if approved, we will then be able to use that process to assess the principles of what is being proposed here.

I understand that you are also aware that the committee recently approved the design of a walking, cycling and accessibility scheme for this section of the A259. The principles of a pocket park would be consistent with that scheme, but it would be a significant change to the design that has been agreed. Therefore, if the location was considered to be appropriate and a priority for a pocket park when assessed against other sites, your discussions with CityClean and City Transport officers could continue. This would enable them to look more closely at your proposal to determine the options and implications of introducing any changes like this, in this particular location. These would include engineering matters, such as checking what infrastructure is under the pavement. This would also help inform what the potential costs of introducing greening and seating may be, as this would be a key consideration when exploring funding availability as part of the grant-funding process that you have referred to. This would include checking the Section 106 funding that may be available from planning permissions for local development. Ordinarily, it would need to be directly related to a proposal in this location in order to be considered as an appropriate source in this instance.

Your work with the local community in this part of Hove on this concept is really welcomed, and I look forward to hearing more about the progress that could be made with your proposal in due course”.


5.30      Councillor Wilkinson moved a motion to request an officer report on the matter.


5.31      Councillor Nemeth formally seconded the motion.


5.32      The Chair put the motion to the vote that passed.


5.33      Resolved- That the Committee receive a report to a future meeting responding to the deputation request.


3)             Proposals for a Hanover and Tarner LTN


5.34      The committee considered a deputation requesting a more ambitious LTN programme for the Elm Grove area and other road safety measures.


5.35      The Chair provided the following response:


“Thank you for presenting your deputation today, which accompanies the petition that has also been submitted and is on our agenda today.

A lot of what I have said in my response to that petition is relevant to the points that you have raised today. We have welcomed the discussion and engagement that has taken place with the local community, following the representations and reports that have been considered by this committee regarding taking forward this pilot project for the Hanover & Tarner area. This has really helped shape the extent of the area and informed the types of measures that can be introduced to manage traffic movements and make it easier for people to move around the area safely and sustainably. Ward councillors and officers have listened and responded to points that have been raised so far, and the discussions that have taken place have helped confirm that the residential roads that form the boundaries to the area, especially Elm Grove, need to be integrated and planned as part of the overall measures that come forward. And they will be.

This is a pilot project, that the committee wanted to progress as ‘a first’ in the city. We do want it to be ambitious and demonstrate what can be achieved by these types of measures. We will also learn from it, and other locations that follow will benefit from that. Continued community participation and dialogue will be critical, so that we can hear and respond to points of support or concern, such as those you have raised today. It has been really helpful for the committee to hear those views, and I would recommend that they are also made in your responses during the forthcoming consultation period, alongside other residents and stakeholders views. Achieving success will also depend on adequate funding to deliver agreed measures, and the report highlights decisions on additional funding will be made by another committee. Changes to buildings, such as the school, would require the involvement of other officers and people. Enforcing speed limits is a Police responsibility, but is something that the council works in close partnership with them on. These points all emphasise the multiple issues that we need to address within the project before any final decision is taken.

Creating a greener, safer, cleaner and healthier environment along a busy, residential road like Elm Grove is not without its challenges, but there are opportunities to achieve this within this scheme and a number of your suggestions will contribute towards it. The report recognises that the proposed measures on the residential boundary roads should be prioritised and be made permanent.

The project will be monitored and reviewed – including traffic flows and air quality levels. New schemes, especially over a wider area, can take time to show any differences and much of this is expected to be due to changes in travel behaviour and travel decisions that the scheme aims to deliver, especially locally. The monitoring that will be undertaken will enable us to see what is changing and then consider if any additional action is required as a result.

I will finish on a point that you have made strongly and succinctly. Tackling pavement parking is one of our number one priorities and despite continued lobbying of the government, we still await a clear announcement about if or how it will give local authorities the necessary powers to effectively deal with it. Its consultation asking whether a change of existing pavement parking legislation should occur finished in November 2020, so if we don’t hear anything soon, then we will need to seriously consider a separate Traffic Regulation Order to deal with the unnecessary obstruction and danger that this anti-social behaviour can cause in local streets.


5.36      Resolved- That the committee note the deputation.


4)             Proposals for a Hanover and Tarner LTN


5.37      The committee considered a deputation that detailed the perceived benefit of an LTN in Hanover & Elm Grove and requested the committee proceed with the scheme.


5.38      The Chair provided the following response:


“Our agenda today has included another deputation, a petition and a written question – all about this project for Hanover & Tarner. This demonstrates the level of interest and engagement that there is in highlighting the issues that are being experienced in this part of the city.

The work that has been done so far to develop proposals to tackle those issues is clearly generating healthy debate and discussion. This is taking place in various meetings as well as in this chamber, and we are listening to it and will take it into account in our decision-making. We will have the opportunity to discuss the proposed scheme for Hanover & Tarner further when we reach item 13 on the agenda later. The next stage will then be public consultation, when there will be further opportunities for people to express their views on the proposal and to help shape it further.

We know that there are other similar schemes in the country, but this will be a first for Brighton & Hove and that is why it is a pilot project. We will therefore learn lessons from the process and increase our understanding of how a scheme like this can make a real difference to how our city works. That difference will only be achieved through the decisions that people make when travelling to, from or within the area; so we want to make it easier for people to choose active and sustainable transport by creating a better local environment for everyone, and help reduce the number and impacts of vehicles. For essential journeys, we can reduce harmful emissions by using cleaner fuels or adopting a different driving style. We can increase safety by reducing driver speeds. There is no one solution or choice, but the main way of achieving all of this is through informed decisions that change our individual behaviours, and therefore contribute to wider local and global benefits and safer and healthier lives.

How we are engaging with people to help co-produce and develop ideas that will help meet the objectives of the project is also being tested. We will create more liveable neighbourhoods by working in partnership with local communities. Measures need to be safe and sustainable and technically sound, so when we are designing them across a wide area, we need to ensure that everybody is aware of what we are trying to achieve. This will help us take into account the balance of opinion that there is about what is needed and where, whether that is on a residential boundary road or side street. We also fully understand and respect that people will want to focus on their personal situations and explain what may affect them most. We need to hear those voices too, and we are.

As you have highlighted, a key part of addressing climate change and how we can all respond to it, whether as a council or as individuals or groups of people, is to ensure that key messages are communicated. We need to explain why action is necessary now to ensure that we and future generations can all benefit from the decisions that we need to make. We need to have the right messages and we need to have the right measures, and if we do need to change how and what we communicate, then we will work harder on that.

In bringing forward a scheme like this, we also know that it is one of a number changes and actions that will help tackle the climate emergency. A report is currently being prepared to outline the progress that is being made across a wide range of projects in the Carbon Neutral Programme, all of which will contribute towards reducing carbon emissions by 2030. It will no doubt generate further debate and raise awareness of this important topic, as we are doing today”.


5.39      Resolved- That the committee note the deputation.

Supporting documents:


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