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Agenda item

Garthdee - Proposed Controlled Parking Zone (Initial Statutory Consultation) - CHI/15/109


At this juncture, the Convener referred to a letter which had been sent from the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the Robert Gordon University to the Chief Executive which offered to make payments for the coming 10 years in relation to the existing Garthdee CPZ.  There followed a short recess while the letter was copied and circulated to Committee members.


(A)         The Committee heard firstly from Mr William Lonsdale who stated that the purpose of the report should reflect the earlier resolution of Committee.  Mr Lonsdale referred to the financial implications outlined in the report as well as to the content of previous reports to the Development Management Sub Committee in 2010 and stated that as all costs of the CPZ had been covered, it was not appropriate for the Council to charge residents for parking.  He also referred to the response from the Planning and Sustainable Development Service outlined in the report and described it as disingenuous.  He stated that the University also referred in their framework document to a ‘free for residents CPZ’, and so for these reasons, he did not think that there should be a charge made on residents.


Mr Lonsdale noted the letter which had been received from the Robert Gordon University but added that while he welcomed the offer, he did not feel that the gesture was particularly generous, and that the University should protect Garthdee residents from detriment in perpetuity, as he stated that the problems suffered in Garthdee were as a result of the expansion of the University.  He added that the impact of the expansion would not lessen after 10 years, and asked that the Council continue to press the University on the funding of residents’ parking.  He also asked that officers be instructed to ensure that the draft traffic order made clear that Residential Exemption Permits should be provided free of charge, stating that this would comply with the commitments given to the community in the public consultation on the RGU Planning Application and with the resolutions of the Development Management Sub Committee.


There being no questions from members in relation to the deputation, the Convener thanked Mr Lonsdale for his contribution.


The Committee then heard from Mr Paul O’Connor who stated that the residents of Garthdee had been through a particularly unsettled period.  He noted that he was in favour of the same goal as Mr Lonsdale, however he wanted it to be achieved in a different way.  He stated that he did not want everyone to be looking backwards, but rather looking forwards in a manner which would appease the Council, Robert Gordon University and the Garthdee community.  He requested that the Council put politics aside and sought cross-party agreement to accept the offer from the University.  Mr O’Connor stated that he had also spoken to the University and that they were willing to provide a letter of comfort to residents that in Year 8 they would meet with the Council to discuss how to move forward.  He suggested that local members should meet with the University to discuss the matter, and asked that both Kaimhill and Garthdee be given the same 10 year period.  He concluded by thanking Angela Scott, SACRO and the community activists for their work to resolve the matter and asked that the Committee took the opportunity to celebrate what might result from the offer from the University.


There being no questions from members in relation to the deputation, the Convener thanked Mr O’Connor for his contribution.


(B)         With reference to article 3 of the Urgent Business Committee meeting of 27 November 2014, the Committee had before it a report by the Director of Communities, Housing and Infrastructure which set out the comments received during the initial statutory consultation period in relation to the proposed introduction of a controlled parking zone in Garthdee in the area which was illustrated in blue in Appendix 1 of the report.


Members then asked a number of questions of officers.


The report recommended:-

that Committee –

(a)       acknowledge the contents of the report;

(b)       note the concerns of the Community Council;  and

(c)       instruct officers to progress to the public advertisement stage and report the results to a future Committee.


The Committee resolved:-

(i)        to approve the recommendations contained in the report;

(ii)       to agree that the area covered by the report would be at zero charge to residents;

(iii)      to accept the offer from the Robert Gordon University to make payments up to 30 September 2025 to fund the administration for the existing  Garthdee CPZ (capped at £25,000 p.a.) provided that during this period, residents were not charged a parking fee;  and

(iv)      to agree that a joint letter be sent to residents from the Principal of Robert Gordon University and the Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council which would specify that refunds would be paid promptly in respect of payments and fines levied since December 2014.

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