Kettering residents set for another vote about parking permits

Kettering council has decided to vote again on a small extension to the existing Zone J parking permit area.
Kettering council has decided to vote again on a small extension to the existing Zone J parking permit area.

The divisive issue of town centre parking permits in Kettering will go back for a public vote once more.

Residents living in The Drive, Headlands and parts of Broadway, will have their say on whether they want to introduce parking permits as part of a small extension to the existing Zone J which covers neighbouring streets.

The move was agreed by Kettering Council’s executive on Tuesday (June 12) night and comes after a plan to introduce parking permits in a new zone in the Gipsy Lane and Bowhill area was agreed in April.

The issue of whether to extend Zone J is, however, dividing the community with a number of residents in favour of permits, because they say commuters using the nearby rail station are parking outside their homes.

But some businesses in a connected part of the town around Argyll Street, are saying that giving permits to residents in these streets, would push the parking issue to neighbouring areas and area cause on-street parking for customers.

There are also concerns the permits will impact on the staff of nearby Hawthorne Community Primary School and users of St Michael’s Church in nearby Garfield

The zone has gone out to the vote again after the earlier consultation showed residents living in The Drive, Headlands and Broadway, of the originally proposed Zone J consultation area, were largely in favour of the permits. However, the Zone was not approved because the wider area was not in favour of the permits.

At the meeting, resident Alison Bagley said giving more permits in Zone J could affect the school, church and other businesses in the surrounding area.

She said she did not want permits to be brought in by stealth, block by block in the town centre area as it would impact on the vibrancy of the community.

A resident from Broadway said he and all his neighbours were in favour of permits and had wanted them to be brought in for many years.

The council will now send out another ballot to residents along with a factsheet. It will make contact with residents on four occasions to make sure all are prompted to have their say.

There will also be two drop-in sessions at a time and place to be confirmed.

Sixty per cent of homes in the balloted area must be in favour of the permits for it to be then considered by the council, which will make the final decision.

If introduced the new permitted area, residents will have to pay £35 per year to park their car within the zone which will be enforced by the council’s environmental wardens.