Northampton residents slam new 'money grabbing' 24-hour parking permit scheme in their street

"There was no consultation with any residents. We are completely against it. We don't want permits. It's money grabbing."

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 8:30 am

Residents in a Northampton street are furious over a new parking scheme which will see them fined up to £100 if they breach conditions outside their homes.

Brownlee Place residents, in Wootton Fields, say there has been no consultation from the housing association Orbit Homes about the new plans, which are to come into effect on September 9.

Naomi Matczak, 30, is acting as the lead spokeswoman for the street and has made their stance clear by saying: 'We don't want permits'.

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Brownlee Place in Wootton Fields

The NHS nurse believes the street is vulnerable because many residents have English as a second language and are also on low incomes.

Naomi said: "There was no consultation with any residents. We are completely against it. We don't want permits.

"I think they [Orbit] thought that maybe we wouldn't kick up so much of a fuss because of the social situation of people here - there are lower income families, young families, and families with English as a second language.

"There is a lot more housing association houses on the estate than shared ownership. I don't think Orbit would have even tried it if it would have been in, say, Collingtree Park.

The parking sign has recently been put up by the company which will be enforcing the the scheme - Parking Control Management, based in Slough

"It's completely money grabbing. I've lived here for nine years and never complained. We've never had any confrontation about parking here. When I bought my house, it was not discussed that this could happen.

"It's the under-handed tactics of it, too. They sent a man round with a camera and he just video recorded us all getting letters to say that we have been notified."

Naomi went on to say that the majority of the homes in the street have two cars, but the new scheme will only allow one permit per household and one visitor's permit.

A visitor's permit will cost each home £10 per month and the visitor can only stay for 70 hours per month.

This, says Naomi, will lead to residents having to park out on the busy Newport Pagnell Road.

Naomi said: "I come home at random times of the day and night. I would have to park on the Newport Pagnell Road [NPPR]. So if you choose to park there, you have completely blocked a busy road up.

"Every single person with a second car will not be able to park it on the estate, which means we'll have to change our car insurance as well.

"Wootton is not horrendous in terms of safety but I will still be a young woman walking home at night.

"Parking on NPPR will mean parents will be getting their kids out of the car on a dangerous and busy road. These houses would not have sold under those pretenses.

"It's just ridiculous. After the last 18 months that we've had to then do this; I've not seen my family for 18 months and then to do this."

Naomi added that the new scheme could devalue her property.

Noel Lodge, who is a councillor in the Wootton area, shared his thoughts on the scheme.

He said: "I would not be in favour of introducing anything like this. It suggests to me that it's another money making exercise from a company because they can.

"I'm not sure how introducing this is going to ease parking congestion in the area."

The housing association responsible for the permits say the introduction is a result of complaints about parking.

An Orbit Homes spokesman said: “Following a number of complaints from our customers about parking issues at Brownlee Place, we have introduced parking permits to ease parking concerns.

"The introduction of these permits will also help prioritise parking for some of our more vulnerable customers and includes charges for unauthorised parking, which are in accordance with the British Parking Association.

“All customers have received a letter informing them of the new permits. Letters were hand delivered and recorded to ensure delivery and we are liaising with customers to tailor permits to accommodate household requirements and guest permits.”