Northampton residents win battle to overturn 'money-grabbing' parking permit scheme in their street

"Everyone is really happy and it's made us feel quite community spirited."

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 8:10 am

A group of Northampton neighbours have won the battle to stop a 'money-grabbing' parking permit scheme come into effect in their street.

Brownlee Place residents, in Wootton, said they are 'ecstatic' the permit scheme, which one person described as 'money-grabbing', has been scrapped after a month of campaigning and petitioning.

Orbit Homes, which manages the housing association properties in the street, said it made the U-turn after "a number of complaints from customers".

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Naomi Matczak (right) acted as the spokeswoman for the street

The scheme was set to go live on September 9 and parking permit signs had been put up around the street.

If it went ahead, the scheme would have seen one space per household instead of two, and a requirement for visitors to have permits.

The visitor's permits would have cost £10 a month and restrict them to 70 hours parking per month. Residents said this would have had a huge impact on friends and family visiting, as well as day-to-day parking.

Naomi Matczak acted as a spokeswoman for the street, which has around 30 households.

Brownlee Place residents celebrating next to the parking permit sign which went up in their street

The NHS nurse said: "Obviously we're ecstatic, because a lot of people were panicking.

"We got about 17 out of 21 properties sign the petition, which is a significant amount. The other three people were not in when we knocked.

"Everyone is really happy and it's made us feel quite community spirited. There are people I have never spoke to that I am now speaking to, so that's positive."

Asked if it was people power that saved the day, Naomi agreed.

The 30-year-old said: "Yes definitely. We should all be really proud of ourselves. Because of our involvement, Orbit has reconsidered.

"If we didn't do it then we would all be sat here with parking permits and restrictions for our friends and families.

"Compared to what it could have been like, it's made our lives much better."

Naomi initially got in touch with the Chron asking for help to get her voice heard.

The Chron put her in touch with Wootton Parish Council and, specifically, clerk Tina Charteress after a recommendation by councillor Noel Lodge.

Naomi said: "The Chron put us in touch with Wootton Parish Council and Tina, who completely took it and ran with it.

"She wrote to Orbit, and helped with the petition. She was really valuable. The Chron putting me in touch with Tina was one of the biggest steps in the process.

"She was so easily accessible and took the issue on straight away. From the get go she was very supportive. She was really rooting for us, which was a really nice feeling."

Naomi added: "The street is now more together and we know the parish council is there for us. It was a really good experience."

An Orbit spokeswoman said: “Following a number of complaints from our customers about parking at Brownlee Place, we suggested introducing parking permits to ease parking concerns.

"However, the feedback from our customers was that they did not want parking permits introduced. We've listened to our customers' comments and, as a result, we will no longer be introducing the permits."