Van problem in Brockley Cross "slight or non-existent"

Having written in the past about the problems with the number of vans owned by local van hire companies (in particular D&M), parked on local streets around Brockley Cross and Brockley Station, we wrote to Cllr Johnson and Cllr Foxcroft, asking whether they would consider taking the matter to the Council. They agreed that the situation was problematic and referred the matter to planning officers.

The situation is that D&M operates from an office in Brockley Cross with no dedicated parking. Their vans, unlike ACE Van Hire (which gone to the trouble of securing private parking) have to be parked on residential streets. It is precisely because this kind of arrangement leads to local people being unable to park outside their own homes and shopping streets being used as parking bays for large removal vans that van hire offices are considered "sui generis" by planners. In other words, D&M should have applied for permission to operate from that office. But they did not.

So officers investigated the situation. Yesterday, we received their response:

In regard to section 172 of the Town and Country Planning Act, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) may issue an Enforcement Notice (EN) where it appears that there has been a breach of planning control and that it is expedient to issue the notice (having regard to the Development Plan and to any other material planning considerations). Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 18 (para5) reminds the LPA that the EN should always be commensurate with the breach of planning control to which it relates and that it is usually inappropriate to take formal enforcement action against a trivial or technical breach of planning control which causes no harm to the amenity in the locality of the site.

As a result of investigating this case and also from the photographs, the conclusion is that the impact of the alleged breach on the amenity of the locality is slight or non-existent. Accordingly, considering the facts and circumstances there does not appear to be a breach of planning control, as can be seen in the case of (East Barnet Urban District Council v British Transport Commission refers). However, if there was a breach of planning control (albeit "trivial" or "technical") taking enforcement action in the circumstances would not be considered expedient - PPG 18 para 5 refers - particularly in the light of the impact on amenity of the locality. Therefore, in the light of this investigation, no formal action will be taken against D & M by the Council.

So there we have it. Unlike the many BC readers who have complained about the vans, the Council doesn't see the problem and won't be taking any action against D&M for their breach of planning guidelines.

110 comments:

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Might a petition from disgruntled resident persuede that it is not slight?

The other brockley nick said...

Unbelievable!!! I **hate** those vans, they really drag the area down, are dangerous and it just gets me so annoyed that they are so selfish as to run their operation the way they do - and its getting worse, now that people have seen what D&M can get away with, there's more arriving, and I'm sure there's several unmarked vans that are part of the same rackets. I can't believe its allowable to operate a van hire company without having private property to store the vans. I'll sign a petition, and get lots of other people to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Surely if they never got permission they can be closed down.If not, whats the point in having these regulations.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - yes, they could. However, the letter says that the Council officers don't see the problem with a van hire company operating from residential streets without permission and are therefore content not to do anything to enforce their own rules.

Anonymous said...

Dare I sugest money crossed palms to get that result (or is it slander)!?!

Hobby Horse said...

Hi I'm a town planner. I don't know all the issues here but planning relates to the use of a building/land and is unrelated to the parking of vans elsewhere. If the property is being used as an office this is acceptable and would not require planning. I don't neccesarily agree with Lewisham that it is a Sui-Genris use on the basis that the vans are not stored on site. Separately to this the owner of the vans surely has the same right to park vehicles as anybody else. There is not a limit to how many cars you can own and park on your street.
I'm not saying that this is a good thing only that Lewisham have made the right decision as the van owner would appeal and win at great Council expenses if they did anything else. I also think there has been no breach of planning so even less reason than the slight impact Lewisham considered.
Parking restrictions/permits is the way to tackle this.

Headhunter said...

It's probably just another case of Lewisham BC planning being a vastly underfunded, low priority area of the council. In one of your previous articles didn't someone from the council, admit that there were in fact only about 2 planning officers for the entire Lewisham area?

If they actually pick up on things like this and actually encourage people to take a pride in their area by not installing dirty great satellite dishes on the fronts of buildings or plastic double glazing, they're opening a can of worms and may actually have to hire more planning officers.

In an era of austerity, when the council is considering closing libraries and may potentially have to stump up bags of cash when the influx of people on benefits pushed out of Chelsea and Kensington arrives, planning is likely to take a seat further and further back in good ship Lewisham BC....

Anonymous said...

To play devils advocate, Mr Horse has a point. Persuing a course of action has to be balanced with the chance of success I s'pose - lawyers aint cheep.

Anonymous said...

The penny drops with HH. There should be more funding (tax/council tax) for planners and the HB cut is ill thought out? Fancy

Headhunter said...

No penny has dropped, anon, I've always known that planning is vastly underfunded, I just wish that Lewisham BC would divert some money to it rather than playing the reactionary game. Allowing and encouraging people to trake pride in their area and improving urban environments is a proactive way of cutting crime which is something Lewisham BC professes to be hot on.

he said...

....As for the HB cut, I'm for it however I don't believe that councils in destinations for those on HB, such as Lewisham, should be left to carry the financial can.

Headhunter said...

That was me

Anonymous said...

So you believe in the HB cut, and presumably you don't advocate rent controls but you dont advocate that councils that may see an influx of lower waged people should shoulder the burden. Can you see a problem?

bumbags said...

AAAAAGGGHHHH- PLEASE can we have a CPZ??? I usually have to park miles from my house (Cross end of UBR), there are sometimes 8-10 vans parked here- often 2/3 large B&M ones. This is totally unacceptable to residents, but totally legitimate in current parking regulations. As many properties are flats, there are a lot of residents' cars, and we need all the space we can get.
We are back to the same point that we are a zone 2 station with free parking, and are becoming a car park.

Headhunter said...

Anon - No I don't see a problem if the recipient councils are not left to shoulder the burden alone. Perhaps the bill for housing benefit should be spread across all London councils.

Brockley Nick said...

Hobby horse, lewisham is explicit that it is sui generis and therefore the question is not whether there is a breach but whether it is one worth enforcing. they've decided it's not worth it. I know these are straightened times but halting the plague of vans would be a very cheap way to dramatically improve the area.

Anonymous said...

sigh....HH please pay attention. Presumably your opposition to HB is that in some way you object to your hard won wages are being routed to the feckless poor. Well if the burden is spread it will still come out of hardworking tax heros like your self - net change zero. At least be consitant

Tim said...

A community parking zone seems the most elegant way of solving the problem. Also, can anyone think up any legal ways that business can be disrupted?

Danja said...

Always look a hobby horse very carefully in the mouth.

Use Classes Order 1987, see clause 6 which sets out a non-exhaustive list of sui generis uses, and in particular 6(e).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1987/764/article/3/made

Danja said...

6(f) not 6(e). Memory of a goldfish.

Anonymous said...

As Hobby Horse said, pressumably there is no way to stop anyone parking anywhere - it has nothing to do with the fact they're parking in streets near to their office. They could quite easily decide one day that they're all going to park in the same street in Birmingham, and as much as it would annoy the residents I can't imagine there's anything anyone could do about it legally. It's just a case of someone parking their vehicle(s) in a non-controlled area.

Bloody stupid if you ask me, but apparently the law is an ass.

Danja said...

Well if you stop them using that office for an unauthorised use there is a good chance that when they move they will take their vans with them, no?

Hobby Horse said...

Lewisham being explicit in their opinion does not mean it is right and would be held up at appeal by the planning inspectorate

I'm well aware of the Use Classes Order. Planning is never that straightforward however. I don't know the history of the site or the operation of the use so happy to not be in the pay of the dark side this once and agree a material change of use has occured.

It is not illegal to change use or build a whole building without planning permission, the Council however have the right to take enforcement action if they feel harm has been caused. They don't feel harm has been caused.

I'm not being very helpful, will have a think. I reckon Lewisham should have served an enforcement notice to see if it would spook them and then back down if they appealed, as on Lewisham's assessment D&M would win the appeal.

pip said...

How about an organised protest, with coordinated jamming of that whole area with (legally parked) cars, thus preventing the vans from parking where they do? Every time one leaves, you fill the space with a resident's car. I'm not directly affected (and don't have a car) but it sounds like a little bit of community action wouldn't go amiss here.

Ed said...

Late to the party on this thread but think Horse and/or Tim may be a good friend (in planning) from Honor Oak whom I forward BC stuff to...?

CPZ used to be a dirty word on here save for a few of us, now seems to be the new black!

Hobby Horse said...

I have no local friends, I'm a refugee from Balham

White Van Man said...

It's a few vans.

What's the issue - other than a few nimbys having to walk an extra 30 yards to their cars?

Anonymous said...

I just spoke to my planning guy in Honor oak and you aren't him!

Good to have a planner on here, welcome!

Any ideas on how to speed up the now inevitable CPZ?

Ed said...

WVM - The issue is discussed in some detail in the posts before yours should you care to read them.

bumbags said...

@white van man. It's a LOT of vans, and I often have to walk a lot further than 30 yds. If you couldn't park your van I bet you'd be annoyed too. The area is becoming a car park for vans and commuter cars. Since the ELL and Ladywell's CPZ the problem has got a lot worse. It's a residential street, and the residents should be able to park SOMEWHERE near-ish to their houses. Many children play along UBR- the large vans also make it impossible to see where they/their footballs are. People will always be opportunist about free parking, and I don't blame them. This is why a CPZ is the only answer now.

Headhunter said...

Anon. "Sigh" right back at you. Please read properly and make the proper deductions. If there is an upper limit on HB, people from say, Chelsea and Kensington may move here. I resent that the tax to pay for their housing is all derived from Lewisham BC's funds leaving the Royal Borough with more money to kick about and propose that there are funds available from central govt or a London wide housing fund of some kind.

The overall tax spend on HB will still be lower (due to the cap) whether it comes from LBC or some central fund and unlimited rent rises by private landlords will be capped.

Try to keep the unfouded rhetoric on the "feckless poor" and "tax heros" to a minimum and come up with a coherent point, please.

Danja said...

I'm well aware of the Use Classes Order

It's understandable all the same that you should forget a little corner of it.

The real problem is not that anyway, but Lewisham's discretion point. It's fuzzy and difficult to challenge, so a great way of getting out of having to do anything.

Anonymous said...

I've hired several vans, on various occasions, from both D&M and ACE fairly recently. ACE are a much better, friendlier, more reasonable company. Given the choice I would not use D&M again. Personally I'm not sure how they can operate with such superior competition nearby, let alone the big boys down on the Old Kent Road. Not much of a reassurance but you never know, they could just go out of business, it is a recession, don't ya know!!

Anonymous said...

"that there are funds available from central govt" Central government are cutting the central funds and introducing a lower cap while rents stay the same. You grasping it yet?

Anonymous said...

Is there a law against stupid planning officers?

If not they should promote one.

CPZ is the solution, but again the Council is not bothered.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TheManorMilitia said...

We didn't want a nursery with 84 children in our street due to the increased traffic.

We had little sympathy expressed on this site and indeed got well hammered with all sorts of accusations levied against us and support for it.

Welcome to the real word!

By the way... you all sound rather aggressive.

Anonymous said...

Some people on this site clearly do not have enough to worry about. Hoping that a local business goes bust, just so you don't have to look at some legally parked vans is ridiculous. It's Brockley not a world heritage site.

Brockley Nick said...

We have a right to expect that local businesses behave responsibly and within the law. Vans are parked all over the area, often in dangerous or inconvenient locations, blocking lines of sight for crossing points, sticking out in to busy roads or simply on the pavement.

Nowhere should have to put up with that, world heritage site or not.

Mild Manored said...

@MM, before one or two residents got nasty, opinion on that nursery was evenly divided. But the militia took the charm out of charm offensive.

This situation is different in many ways. Most importantly, in your case, the developers were trying to go through the proper channels and you were speculating about a problem which many people thought would not occur. In this case the business did not go through the proper channels and the problem is very real, whatever the lazy council says.

All you've done is remind us all why you lost so many friends last time.

Mild Manored said...

by the way, I've had their vans parked outside my home in Manor ave, so please don't act like it's somebody else's problem. We're all in this together.

ManorMilitia said...

But we have a tacit agreement with that chap that he can only park one van, and outside your door, or Geoffrey Road.

Tim said...

So, bearing in mind that the broad consensus seems to be dismay with the decision, what to do about it?
I can think of:
1) Set up an online petition. Problem being that we might struggle to get 500 signature.
2) Collect and collate photographic evidence of those vans being parked inconviently and illegally, and ask the council to reconsider.
3) Continue to lobby councillors (via email?) to send more traffic wardens round the Brockley area...

Anything else?

TheManorMilitia said...

Tim, don't think you can do it as a charm offensive.

There is some doubt that the person running the business finds any of your opinions charming.

You need to do all of what you suggest, and a few things besides. Look for the weakness and work at it. It's not the time for being nice and charming.

We've actually disbanded our militia having successfully fought off a huge business to our street that would have seriously increased traffic and parking. (Only one person in the street wanted it - and she was a selfish prat.) If the request comes we can reform the militia to assist - but our(lawful) tactics may not rest well on such moral shoulders. Whatever, good luck with the campaign

TheManorMilitia said...

Tim, this link may assist.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/local/legislation/cnea/documents/vehicles.pdf

Tim said...

ManorMilitia, I find your first post utterly confusing. My actions are not aimed at the owner of the businss, they are aimed at the council. So I don't really care what the business owner thinks.
The second post is helpful, it would appear that an offence is being committed as the business is clearly causing two or more vehicles to be parked within 500m of each other.
I think the thing to do is collate photographic evidence, send it to me (t.n.webb@gmail.com), and then I will inform the police, CCing the council and whoever the Ward councillor is.
Does that sound like a good idea?

Tim said...

PS, I think it would help if said photographic evidence showed illegal parking, as well as annoying parking. Also, if anyone wants to do this, could you include in your email the time and date you took the photo. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you ManorMilitia.

The document also clearly states in section 4 that the Garage in Harefiled Mews operates illigally every day when the fix a car in the mews.

So what should we do call the police? Call the Council?

What the f... in Lewisham nobody seems to respect the law, and the Council is the first.


Section 4 – Repairing vehicles
on a road
Section 4 (1) sets out the offence:
A person who carries out restricted works
on a motor vehicle on a road is guilty
of an offence.

TheManorMilitia said...

Tim, that wasn't aimed at you but Mild Manored, who seems to think a charm offensive is the way to deal with such problems rather than the diabolic machinations of MM.
But surely if you aim any initiative at the council it is surely to get the owner of such a business to stop it.
That said, I had noticed that one of his vans actually blocks what is the public highway, and that would be matter for him directly only via the police.

Tim said...

Anonymous - like I said, I think we tell the police, and keep the council in the loop. But you need to show them evidence.

Anonymous said...

Tim
unfortunately your reference: 'it would appear that an offence is being committed as the business is clearly causing two or more vehicles to be parked within 500m of each other' does not apply as the relevant law relates only to vehicle sales. It is a frustrating gap in the law as the car sales bit was included specifically to help residents who were losing car parking spaces as a result.
Sadly it is no surprise that our Council, which can't be bothered to enforce conservation area requirements for shopfronts, etc, also cannot be bothered to enforce other aspects of the policies they put so much effort into creating. Lack of enforcement also seems to apply to illegal parking even at the margins of the Brockley Station free car park zone (ie Brockley).
Whilst I am not sure a CPZ would sort out the van issue as they could probably get permits, it may at least ease the overall pressure on parking spaces.

Tim said...

Hmmm, I think you might be right. Nonetheless, there is absolutely no point complaining about a problem, if you aren't prepared to do something about it, so I still think an email campaign to councillors and planning officers with photographic evidence is the way forwarde.

Tamsin said...

Not ease it - move it. What happened, it seems from some postings, in Ladywell.

And wouldn't the van hire people be able to apply for business permits? It would cost them (as it would cost everyone else), but they will still be there.

Anonymous said...

Business parking permit? I do not think they would viable for the Van company. And anyway they could not be parked in Resident Parking Zones.

So CPZ is the solution

Business permits

Business permits are available to employees of businesses within one of the borough’s controlled parking zones. They permit the holder to park in designated 'Business Permit Holders Only', or in dual or triple-use bays.

You can put up to two vehicles on each permit at no extra charge, though only one vehicle can use the permit at a time.

Business permits are £300 a year or £165 for six-months.

Foxberry Mike said...

Tamsin the 'ease it' comment was from me and i agree it may also shift the problem elsewhere, presumably to the next available railway station - NXG perhaps?
However for our little patch of London, if we want to eliminate illegal parking and also do improvements like pedestrianising Coulgate Street, then these things will only put more pressure on the remaining legal parking spaces so i do think a CPZ is the only way to move forward if we want to improve the local environment, even if I am reluctant to be held hostage to Lewisham when they ramp up the charges forever more.
Tim - I support the photograhy / recording approach but I think the focus should be on the daily proliferation of illegal parking generally with a view to quizzing Lewisham on why they take no action.

Perrier Mason said...

"the relevant law relates only to vehicle sales"
That's a technicality. He sells usage of the vans for a day or more - that's a sale. Whether it's a lease or a sale it's the spirit of the law that counts.

Jonathan said...

I think that they are unsightly and so make the area more of an industrial area and less like a place where I want to spend time, meet friends, and enjoy my home area.

Businesses need space but in this case they are not respecting the area in which they operate.

Don't piss off the locals!

Name said...

We don't really want a cpz, but given the problems of the current unregulated roads, it seems the only option. However there is extreme wariness of Lewisham council and how this cpz would be managed and how it could change. So is there a compromise?

Anonymous said...

We actually do want a CPZ!! even if it was just for 3 hours a day, just to skrew commuters and Van Hire companies.

Anonymous said...

We do NOT want a CPZ!

We want free and open roads that people can use without let nor hindrance!

The aggressive CPZ has no place in Brockley, famed for its values of acceptance and tolerance.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for the council, and D&M vans, who provide a valuable service, at excellent rates, for those of us without access to Volvo estate cars.

Brockley Nick said...

Excellent rates because unlike their respectable competitors, they free-ride at local residents and businesses' expense, to the detriment of the entire area.

Blunderbuss said...

As a recent poll on BC delivered a majority vote against a CPZ, I think we can assume that most people do not want one.

Ed said...

I think a new CPZ poll would reflect a shift in attitudes towards CPZ having read the comments on related threads since. This is probably due to people's experience of the increasing detriment since D&M decided Coulgate Street was their car park and the opening of the overground route led to an increase in zone 2 commuter tourists. As a nation we are notoriously adverse to regulation of our personal lives and I think many people view any such regulation as a bad thing unless they are persuaded otherwise.

I really can see any argument against prioritising parking for local residents provided there is a provision for sensible business parking and the scheme is not used for profit by the council.

Anonymous said...

polls on here are a bit of fun, I doubt anyone pretends they're especially representative.

Spirit of Lee said...

Polls represent what they represent; nothing special.

It must be a strange world to live in where stating the obvious passes for comment.

Anonymous said...

Can we make door to door polls in the relevant streets around Brockley Cross and the station.

If we exclude commuters from the polls I am sure the results would be strongly in favour of CPZ... Bye bye commuters and van vampires. You would need to park in front of your house not mine.

CPZ is inevitable, would like just to speed it up.

Anyone knows how?

Name said...

I don't think cpz is inevitable. I don't believe most Brockley residents do want a council run cpz around the station. However they don't want the situation at present and the way direction things are going. So I ask again is there a compromise?

Brockley Nick said...

Compromise would be:

1. proper enforcement by the Council of their own planning regulations

2. proper enforcement by the Council of parking regulations

3. part-pedestrianisation and parking restrictions on Coulgate Street

4. Remodelling of Brockley Cross to make it more pedestrian friendly and discourage double parking

1 should happen but they've said they don't think it's important. 2 is sort of happening, after some nagging from Brockley Central, but has a way to go. 3 is being considered after heavy community lobbying.4 is supposed to be happening soon, but we don't know what the plans actually are, specifically.

Name said...

I'm not directly affected by the vans' prescence so can;t comment on how much of a 'problem' they are if indeed they are at all.
If the situaion is indeed "slight", then we should suck it up.
But if it isn't trivial and demonstrably not the council has to act. Their rules say so.

So I think the ball is back in our court.

Brockley Nick said...

Sorry Name, what does the ball being back in our court mean?

The situation isn't slight as everyone on here with any experience of it has confirmed. That's the point.

Name said...

The councils planning dept appear to have performed a site check and based on what they saw, have concluded that the alleged breach of planning rules has resulted in a slight to non existent impact.

So...
It means that evidence that this matter is not 'slight' or trivial needs to be collated & presented for them to revise their conclusions or provide grounds for an appeal of the decision. Photographs, diaries, detailing how the vans affect individual residents.

Anonymous said...

Name @ 16.10

I am sorry to disappoint you but Most of residents AROUND BROCKLEY STATION want the CPZ because the parking situation is degrading rapidly.

Hilly Fields residents or residents from other neighbouring area complaining that they want to continue to come and park in front or around were I live will have to suck it and walk.

This will hopefully also emply a little the ELL line early in the morning. It is getting impossible to get on the train now, and possibly is because of driving commuters.

Brockley Nick said...

Well they haven't specifically said that they've been to the area to investigate. I've asked what the investigation actually consisted of and have yet to receive a response.

To give you an example, I previously asked them to investigate problems with illegal parking in Brockley Cross. They initially said there was no problem. Then it turned out that their investigation had only looked at one tiny stretch of road in the area. So I asked them to look again, doing a wider sweep, where the problems actually were. When they did so, they discovered that - shock - there was a problem. And they have stepped up enforcement as a result.

As for your suggestions, yes, that is what people have been discussing above. I agree.

The Cat Man said...

Talking about businesses abusing free parking can people pls tear down the 'brockley yoga classez' posters stuck to trees, especially as apparently there is 'free parking' on revelon rd for all class members!

We really need a CPZ

Anonymous said...

Well if they can currently park for free I guess that there is free parking. It's not the same issue as a van hire company using residential streets as their depot.

bumbags said...

@Brockley Nick,
I think your 4 points totally valid, but they don't go quite far enough- it still won't solve the commuter problem, and pedestrianisation of Coulgate St will mean MORE commuter cars in the surrounding residential streets. Car-parking is REALLY expensive now, as is rail travel. I don't blame anyone for trying to get to work as cheaply as possible, but it is causing problems. While a CPZ is a pain, it is now necessary.
ALSO, the D&M vans are annoying everyone parked on residential streets. Could the guy at least park them somewhere like Shardeloes Rd? As far as I can see on Streetmap, after Millmark Grove there is no yellow line, and no direct access to housing (so nobody will be shunted away from their front doors). I don't go down here during the daytime, but maybe this is a more suitable (pls read 'marginally less annoying' place for him to use?)

Foxberry Mike said...

Bumbags
I agree with your first point - parking restrictions need to be wide enough to kill off the attraction of parking in Brockley for the station and a CPZ is the only way i can think of to achieve this.
With regard to you idea of D&M using Shardeloes as a least worse option, perhaps as a gesture of goodwill the poem on the wall could be modified - 'Live Work Love D&M Park Gather Greet D&M Park, etc.
I'll get my coat.

bumbags said...

@Foxberry Mike- I like your thinking!

Tamsin said...

@Anon. I don't think the people in Hilly Fields and neighbouring areas are concerned because a CPZ will mean that they cannot drive to the station and park - but because cars displaced from the CPZ area, visitors etc. who do not have relevant tickets, those with second cars who do not want to pay for them, will spill over. And someone said this was what happened in Ladywell.

A two hour slot in the middle of the day would stop commuter parking but when asked about it a few years back the Council refused to consider this option as they could not make enough money out of it. Maybe they are now more flexible. I hope so as the points Nick makes seem an admirable compromise solution.

Anonymous said...

@Tamsin - very well so the people of hilly fields are concerned about a spill over of people parking in front of their houses.

Well around the station we are not concerned. People already park in front of our houses.

Remarkable attitude: "as long as it does not happen in your back yard ...."

Remind me what car you drive so if I see on my street I make sure I leave you an autograph.

don'tgetmestarted said...

This topic has accrued an astonishing amount of comment (stating the obvious). Sadly its exposed a degree of aggressive nimbyism that lets you all down.

Brockley Nick said...

Lets "you" all down? Not "us". Not in your virtual backyard? ;)

Ed said...

I remember an earlier thread where I felt very alone in supporting CPZ but I am now glad to see so many significant stakeholders i.e. micro-locals, who support it!

I have yet to see a comment from a micro-local opposing CPZ. If they exist I'd be keen to know why they don't support it.

don'tgetmestarted said...

Yes 'you', I haven't commented on the van problem. Live and let live?

Brockley Nick said...

But everyone who has commented is tarred with the same brush, regardless of whether or not they've been aggressive?

Besides, it's only really NIMBYism if what someone is saying is that they are happy for the problem to be displaced somewhere else, so long as it doesn't affect them.

In this case, people are saying that the problem should not be allowed at all. That's not NIMBYism, that's a civil society.

Headhunter said...

The true meaning of the expression "NIMBY" has lost all meaning to most people commenting here. Same goes for the word "mung" (bean). Both words sem to be used randomly and incoherently to refer to anyone who actually cares about the local environment.

don'tgetmestarted said...

I don't think we need more rules, the local environment includes white van man. Surely what's nice about this area is the way lots of different people muddle along together.

Brockley Nick said...

Someone who drives a van and wants to park up so they can pop to the shops or a cafe or take a short break. I embrace them.

A van hire company that wants to abuse residential and commercial streets to undercut legitimate rivals. I don't embrace them.

You could use the "let's muddle along" argument to excuse dog foulers, litter droppers, muggers, fly-tippers or any other form of illegal or anti-social behaviour. But they're all wrong and should be condemned rather than excused.

Brockley Nick said...

Sorry, one more thing. For a long while, no one really made a fuss about the vans. At first it was just one or two and we all just muddled along. Now it's half a dozen or more, parked all over the place and people don't want to muddle along any more (despite the fact that the Council's position is that we should muddle along).

don'tgetmestarted said...

But they're not doing anything illegal are they?

Anonymous said...

Radical thought, but has anyone considered actually engaging with the van firm in question, to let them know how residents feel?

This Is England said...

First they came for the van men, but I did not speak up...

Tamsin said...

Careful - that means end of thread!

Anonymous said...

Being legal is not the same as doing the right thing, in any case the planing officers do not think it worth persuing. Not the same thing at all, a magistrate may well side with the residents.

Danja said...

This bit of Lewisham's letter is totally inconsistent with an acceptance that the usage is sui generis (assuming no previous usage for van hire). In fact, it is borderline incoherent:

"Accordingly, considering the facts and circumstances there does not appear to be a breach of planning control, as can be seen in the case of (East Barnet Urban District Council v British Transport Commission refers)."

Having looked up East Barnet it was a case about whether a change of use of some industrial land from one type of storage to other types of storage amounted to a "change of use" in the planning sense i.e. whether what was stored was enough to make the change in use controlled development.

As changing the use of a business to a sui generis use is by definition controlled development, the case is irrelevant. Either ignorance, or just an attempt to muddy the waters

Danja said...

And PPG 18 para 5 makes interesting reading - note (2) and the precise terms of (4) (although they are presumably relying on (3)):

5. Nothing in this Note should be taken as condoning a wilful breach of planning law. LPAs have a
general discretion to take enforcement action, when they regard it as expedient. They should be
guided by the following considerations:-
(1) Parliament has given LPAs the primary responsibility for taking whatever enforcement
action may be necessary, in the public interest, in their administrative area (the private citizen
cannot initiate planning enforcement action);
(2) the Commissioner for Local Administration (the local ombudsman) has held, in a number
of investigated cases, that there is "maladministration" if the authority fail to take effective
enforcement action which was plainly necessary and has occasionally recommended a
compensatory payment to the complainant for the consequent injustice;
(3) in considering any enforcement action, the decisive issue for the LPA should be whether
the breach of control would unacceptably affect public amenity or the existing use of land and
buildings meriting protection in the public interest;
(4) enforcement action should always be commensurate with the breach of planning control to
which it relates (for example, it is usually inappropriate to take formal enforcement action
against a trivial or technical breach of control which causes no harm to amenity in the locality
of the site); and
(5) where the LPA's initial attempt to persuade the owner or occupier of the site voluntarily to
remedy the harmful effects of unauthorised development fails, negotiations should not be
allowed to hamper or delay whatever formal enforcement action may be required to make the
development acceptable on planning grounds, or to compel it to stop (LPAs should bear in
mind the statutory time limits for taking enforcement action).

Anonymous said...

A lesson for those voting no to CPZ:

Embleton Road residents are up in arms over the congestion now being caused by the Ladywell Controlled Parking Zone. In last year's consultation by the council, Embleton residents voted No to the CPZ while several neighbouring streets voted Yes. Now the CPZ is being implemented the result is clear - Embleton is bearing the brunt of commuter parking in the area. Residents have been resorting to wheelie bins in a futile attempt to keep the commuters at bay. But now a group of residents have decided to launch a petition urging the council to implement the CPZ in Embleton Rd as soon as possible. I'm told the council can review the working of the CPZ within six months to a year. But after last year's No vote residents will have to show a clear majority now in favour. TonyM

Pete said...

I live on Algiers Road in Ladywell and believe that quite a few people feel the same as those on Embleton road. Our street is a car park all week filled with commuter cars.

Where do they all come from?

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks Danja, I think I probably need to ask the Council some supplementary questions...

Danja said...

You might point out that it might not be a sensible precedent to set, that a change of use from office to a sui generis use is merely a technical breach which does not require any enforcement action to be taken.

bumbags said...

I DID call D&M a couple of weeks ago actually, when I arrived home with LOADS of stuff to unpack from my car, and nowhere to park AGAIN, and I talked to some chap. I explained that Upper Brockley Road was a residential road with lots of bigger houses that had been split into flats. As more households mean more cars, him parking his vans there was upsetting residents. I asked very nicely if there was a non-residential street he could park on. He said there were 'only two vans' parked on my street at that point, and did offer to come and move one- which did vanish within the hour.
He wasn't an unreasonable guy to talk to, but seemed to feel having 2 vans was fine. His aren't the only vans causing a problem on this road, but his are the most identifiable.
In my previous post I mentioned Shardeloes Rd as a possible 'less-bad' place to leave his vans- as on the stretch by the mural there are no houses- just the back of some. Would that create an issue for anyone there?
Would anyone on here object if I suggested this to Mr D&M?
Does anyone know Mr D&M?

Anonymous said...

Two vans? Hmmm......

non-driving harcourt rd home-owner said...

I don't think a CPZ will solve parking problems, I think they spread more problems than they solve.


i like this quote from anon :
"We do NOT want a CPZ!

We want free and open roads that people can use without let nor hindrance!

The aggressive CPZ has no place in Brockley, famed for its values of acceptance and tolerance."

31 October 2010 19:52

Tamsin said...

This was the sort of point I vividly remember someone making at the public meeting to discuss the council's proposals to introduce a CPZ in Telegraph Hill in anticipation of problems when the congestion charge would be introduced. She had moved into the area fairly recently from somewhere where there was a CPZ and said that once you are having to pay for the privilege everyone gets much more territorial about parking and tempers generally run high. She found the tolerant atmosphere of no CPZ so much better - she drives away, someone else takes the space, it might be available when she gets back - if not and she has to park some distance away, no matter, she might be luckier tomorrow... General laisser faire rather than temper and even slashed tyres.

Enforcement of the existing regulations and reaching some sort of modus vivendi with the van people could be worth trying first.

Anonymous said...

@Tamsin I feel you!!

So we should take your word for it?

What is making people not friendly is seeing commuters driving in every morning and taking advantage of the parkings available next to the station.

I work, and have lived in a CPZ areas. What you describe in your post is just in your mind.

It is simply an effective way to make sure commuters and businesses do not take over the roads. SAfety also is an issue considering the number of cars that keep parking on double yellows and street corners.

The inverted relationship between CPZ and acceptance and tolerance seems simply a very manipulative assumptions. What people can come out with in order not to pay few pounds.

So why don't you just vote no CPZ on your road a leave the residents of the affected roads to decide what is best for them?

In that case the spillover problem is something you will have to swallow the same way the people on Embleton road are doing.

Tamsin said...

No - just adding this remembered mite to the debate.

CPZs, tempers and tyre slashing is not simply an assumption. There was a BBC London news report at the time of such acrimonious results. On the other hand that was in North West London where there are dragons and unicorns and other unknown monsters. In Brokley you are perhaps civilised.

Parking on yellow lines and street corners could be immediately addressed by proper enforcement - although you are right that it is not likely to happen until the traffic wardens have a CPZ to patrol at the same time to notch up the tickets.

Something no-one has mentioned so far is the street clutter that comes with a CPZ. Every parking bay marked with white lines and a pavement notice is required next to every run of bays.

But as even the spill-over wouldn't be in my back yard I should probably shut up and mind my own business.

Apologies.

Anonymous said...

"I should probably shut up and mind my own business."


. . . at last

Name said...

Tamsin is right to raise the issues she has, because once a cpz is introduced, that's it! There is no going back and it will change the nature of being in Brockley, maybe for the better for the worse but I think it very important that this matter is discussed throughly.

Further I don't apologise for stating the apparent obvious in having such a discussion. Because a lot of time there assumptions, in peoples positions on matters which require teasing out.

It appears that the Van company have not been spoken in a formal (by residents or council) way to come up with a solution to the problems they seem to be causing.

This is something that could produce positive results.

Anonymous said...

To the people affected and exercised by the vans: why don't you get together and find a suitable person to infiltrate the van managements, someone who could then let drop that the local burghers are up in arms and threatening cpzs, petitions, or even worse. It would need to be someone with a working knowledge of the Sun. He (it would have to be a 'he') could pretend that while casually surfing the web looking for the currantbun he happened upon Brockley Central. I'd suggest a background in rhyming slang might help, and a roll-up of minute proportions. Just don't let him mention mung beans and charcuterie.

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