Agenda and minutes

Petition Hearing - Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and Recycling
Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Nikki O'Halloran  01895 250472

Items
Note No. Item

1.

To confirm that the business of the meeting will take place in public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That all items of business be considered in public.

7pm

2.

Long Drive, South Ruislip - Petition Requesting Traffic Calming Measures pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Allan Kauffman and Steve Tuckwell attended the meeting and spoke as Ward Councillors in support of the petition. 

 

Concerns and suggestions raised at the meeting included the following:

·         The volume and speed of traffic using Long Drive had increased significantly and the area was heavily used by pedestrians;

·         Long Drive appeared to be used as a cut through by vehicles heading for the A40 or the new shopping complex on Victoria Road;

·         In June 2018, the petition organiser had witnessed an incident outside his home where a mother had been driving at about 20mph with small children in the car when she had had to swerve violently to avoid an oncoming speeding motorbike.  She had then had to pacify the children who were clearly traumatised by the incident;

·         Petitioners were aware that the speed restriction measures in place in Queens Walk had been effective in slowing the traffic down and that there were also measures in place further along Long Drive between Queens Walk and Field End Road;

·         The petition had been started with the support of the Residents’ Association and, of the 50 properties that the petition organiser had visited, only three residents had expressed any concern about the implementation of traffic calming measures;

·         It was clear that residents did not want speed bumps and would instead prefer speed tables;

·         Although a previous traffic survey had found the 85th percentile to be 31mph, petitioners were concerned about the remaining 15%;

·         It had been suggested that the requests made in the petition be coordinated with similar suggestions made in relation to The Fairway and Queens Walk;

·         A range of well attended venues were in the vicinity of Long Drive including three schools, two churches, a young people’s centre, a Tube station, parks and allotments.  Approximately 1.7m people used the station each year and, as a large number of parents and children needed to cross the road, measures to slow the traffic would improve their safety;

·         Traffic calming measures would help to improve air quality, which was a concern in the area, by reducing excessive braking and engine revving; and

·         It was noted that previous petitions had been submitted as a result of the impact of the increasing volume of traffic in the area.  At peak times, vehicles could be held up in traffic jams for significant periods, particularly on Victoria Road and Long Drive.

 

Councillor Burrows listened to the concerns of the petitioners and responded to the points raised.  He suggested that Councillor Kauffman raise the need for an additional speed table in Field End Road as a Members’ Enquiry. 

 

The Cabinet Member noted that the demographics of the area had changed significantly and recognised that there had been an increase in the volume of traffic.  As such, he asked officers to undertake a traffic survey at locations agreed with the petition organiser and Ward Councillors.  The survey would be undertaken by an independent company that would collect data in relation to the volume, speed, direction and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

7.30pm

3.

Petition Asking For Measures To Address Parking And Traffic Concerns In Whiteheath Avenue, Ruislip pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Phillip Corthorne and Devi Radia attended the meeting and spoke as Ward Councillors in support of the petition. 

 

Concerns and suggestions raised at the meeting included the following:

·         Petitioners had raised a number of concerns regarding the safety of pupils and parents at Whiteheath Junior School which had increased in size over the years;

·         Traffic congestion had worsened outside the school and in the surrounding roads as it became more ‘normal’ for parents to drive their children to school in increasingly large vehicles;

·         It was noted that there were a number of teachers that refused to park in the school’s own car park and instead parked in the adjoining residential roads.  This added to the congestion on the surrounding roads and made it more difficult for parents to drop their children off;

·         The school had 22 parking spaces and 40 members of staff, most of whom were part time.  As such, parking availability was such that the level of overspill into the surrounding roads need not be at the level currently experienced.  This issue had been raised with the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors who were contractually unable to dictate where staff parked;

·         Children would often have to cross the road to get to school;

·         Although it had been addressed to some extent, there were still a large number of parents turning their vehicles in the road after they had dropped their children off.  This also added to the congestion around the school and had resulted in a number of near-misses where vehicles had mounted the pavement and almost hit children;

·         Petitioners were aware that the majority of schools within the Borough were in 20mph zones but that the speed limit outside of Whiteheath Junior School was 30mph.  The speed of some vehicles travelling in the area had been frightening;

·         As there were no traffic calming measures in the area, petitioners requested that action be taken to slow the traffic down.  Suggestions had included reducing the speed limit to 20mph, the installation of speed tables, stopping vehicles from turning in the road, the introduction of a one way system for school traffic and school staff using the school car park;

·         It was suggested that double yellow lines be installed outside the school by the barriers to ensure that the school entrance was kept clear for emergency vehicle access, should the need arise;

·         A number of parents would turn up about an hour before the end of school and sit it their vehicles with their engines running;

·         A 2.30pm to 4.30pm parking restriction was in place outside of the school.  Residents were unable to see the other side of the road for cars at 4.30pm when parents came to pick their children up from after school clubs;

·         Residents had considered requesting parking permits but were keen to ensure that parents were still able to stop for 5-10 minutes so that they could pick their children up from school; and

·         One of the Ward Councillors had met with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

8pm

4.

Petition Requesting an Article 4 Direction and to Register All Houses in Multiple Occupation in Heathrow Villages pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

Councillors Ali Milani, Peter Money and June Nelson attended the meeting and spoke as Ward Councillors in support of the petition. 

 

Concerns and suggestions raised at the meeting included the following:

·         Residents were asking for action to help safeguard their community in Heathrow Villages Ward by dealing with the unlicensed / unregistered HMOs in the area;

·         The petition organiser had circulated additional information about the issues faced by petitioners which had been forwarded to the Cabinet Member in advance of the meeting;

·         It was noted that the transient nature of many of those who lived in Heathrow Villages Ward had not helped with community cohesion / identity and families had been forced out of the area;

·         It was recognised that an Article 4 Direction had been introduced in Brunel Ward to alleviate the impact of HMOs on the local community.  It was suggested that the transient workers in Heathrow Villages created a similar situation to that created by the 13,500 students at Brunel and the impact that the introduction of an Article 4 Directive might have on neighbouring wards was not a good enough reason to reject the option.  It was thought that the impact of transient workers was two to three times greater on the lives, safety and cleanliness of the local community in Heathrow Villages than the ‘studentification’ in Brunel had been.  As such, the introduction of an Article 4 Directive would have an even more profoundly positive effect on the lives of residents in the local area;

·         It was suggested that the introduction of the following would help: a private property licence scheme; an emergency Article 4 Directive to withdraw permitted development rights; and all outbuildings be restricted to no more than 6ft with no water supply;

·         Heathrow airport, along with numerous hotels and businesses in the area and good transport links, provided significant employment opportunities (approximately 76,000 employees) which resulted in a higher than average number of rental properties in the area (some of which were rented to private hire vehicle drivers);

·         Concern was expressed that landlords profited from the lack of restrictions that were in place and that the true number of HMOs was unknown and therefore went unmonitored.  The volume of HMOs in Heathrow Villages had led to an increase in the amount of littering, use of public bins for domestic waste, vermin, parking and congestion and a decline in housing conditions;

·         Wards Councillors had been reporting HMOs for a number of years and been told by Council officers that these properties were under investigation;

·         The high number of short term tenancies had translated into an increase in fly-tipping (instances of which had been reported through Members’ Enquiries) and had resulted in permanent residents being surrounded by strangers;

·         Concern was expressed that Harmondsworth Village was in a conservation area but that it was being run down; and

·         It was noted that similar measures were being taken in the area surrounding Gatwick airport.

 

Councillor Burrows listened to the concerns of the petitioners and responded to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.