The report was introduced by a panel lead by David Candlin, Head of Economic Development and Property, and included a visual presentation.
Robert Chris, a resident of Royal Tunbridge Wells, had registered to speak and questioned the timing of the implementation of the proposed restrictions in relation to the public enquiry looking at the compulsory purchase orders, whether the proposed loading bay satisfied Sainsbury’s requirements and what would happen with the relocated bus shelters.
Adrian Berendt, for Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Forum, had registered to speak and was disappointed that the opportunity to implement a 20 mph zone had not been taken. The development would deliver more traffic to the town centre contrary to the aims of the Urban Design Framework Supplementary Planning Document, an alternative would be to restrict all vehicles for the car park to only enter via Church Road / Crescent Road and make Mount Pleasant Road safer.
The discussion included consideration of the following matters:
· The proposed restrictions would only be implemented if the Calverley Square development went ahead.
· The loading bay was provided at Sainsbury’s request and fulfilled the needs of their largest delivery vehicles.
· Relocated bus shelters would allow a minimum 2 meters pavement clearance.
· The design of the car park entrance, the flow of traffic, signage and the design of the shared space in front of the theatre would discourage vehicles from entering Mount Pleasant Avenue from the south.
· Modelling of additional traffic movements in the town centre did not indicate a significant negative impact as a result of the access to the car park and therefore no further adjustments to road layouts were deemed necessary. The Traffic Assessment formed part of the planning application and was publically available.
· The relocated taxi rank was positioned on the east side of Mount Pleasant Road to provide a line of sight to the rank outside the station.
· Taxis leaving one rank to join the other would need to cross the carriageway at the point pedestrians were being encouraged to cross.
· The taxi rank had been located temporarily in the proposed site during operation of ice rink without problem, it was less problematic than the current location.
· Permit bays at the south end of Mount Pleasant Avenue were Zone C residents parking, the move from one side of the road was a like-for-like swap. There would be no special provisions for councillor parking.
· The new car park would predominantly be for short-stay public parking, some spaces may be reserved for tenants but this was subject to ongoing negotiations. No spaces would be allocated to councillors or council staff.
· Taxi rank usage was not routinely monitored but Parking Services did respond to reported problems. Conversion of taxi ranks to parking could be investigated but was a separate.
· Season ticket bays that the north end of Mount Pleasant Avenue were not allocated to AXA. The bays were, and would remain, for use by any season ticket holder.
· Both taxi ranks could be used to pickup customers which would have to be monitored in case of conflict.
· Traffic disruptions during the construction phase may have an impact on footfall for local businesses. The traffic management plan should minimise disruption.
RESOLVED – That the Board endorses the making of Orders B, C, D, E and F as set out in the report.