Saturday, January 16, 2016

Parking emerges as an issue for site of former Windsor Hotel Development

We have heard comment in passing that the development proposed for the Windsor Hotel might not be the best solution for the site but that it is the best that can be hoped for in the current climate and is a better outcome than the buildings remaining empty or being demolished for a new build. It does seem to be that parking is emerging as a concern for some though.

The Nairn Bowling Club have submitted a comment on the Council's e-planning site which reads:

"Nairn Bowling Club being the owner of the premises at XXXX who has operated successfully since instituted in 1880 from this location. We, the management committee and office bearers, are conscious of the impact our members and visitors have when parking vehicles in Albert Street especially during our playing season April to October. As a consequence we are very concerned about the additional parking this proposed development will have on Albert Street, as it is our opinion that the proposed parking arrangement for the guest house and 13 flats is inadequate therefore, leading to further parking and congestion on Albert Street. The Club strives to avoid causing parking issues with other residents in the vicinity and should this application be granted approval parking will be a major issue for all drivers of road vehicles accessing this part of Albert Street,Nairn.

As a sports club looking to increase our membership we would welcome this property redevelopment but at a lower density than that proposed in this application."

A resident from that area also lobbied River Community Council on Wednesday night on the issue of parking in the area of the former hotel and the effect the application would have on the situation. Readers can browse the application here on Highland Council's e-planning pages. 

This time the application is for a smaller guest house on the site again but for a reduction in the number of flats from 16 to 13. The number of parking spaces on the site will be 30. A previous application attracted the following comment from the Council's Transport Planning team:

"Application Description This application is for the conversion of an existing hotel into a smaller guest house with 12 rooms with the rest of the hotel converted into 16 flats. Nine of the flats are three bedroomed and seven are two bedroomed.

Car Parking

A total of 32 car parking spaces to the rear of the development have been proposed and it is unknown as to how these spaces will be allocated between the residential properties and the guest house.

The maximum car parking standards for a guest house are 1 space per bedroom plus 1 space per 3 staff which equates to approximately 13 car parking spaces.

The maximum car parking standards for flats is 1.2 spaces per flat and 0.3 spaces per flat for visitors. This equates to 24 car parking spaces. Therefore the maximum car parking standards for both uses is 37 car parking spaces. The Council may accept reduced parking provision in town centres if it can be demonstrated that the development is well served by sustainable transport."

Parking sensibilities seem to be taking effect with officials too. This time round for the current applicaiton the Transport Planning team have stated:
"Based on the above standards with an estimate of say four to six staff, the hotel would require 13 car parking spaces and the 13 flats would require 20 car parking spaces.

Therefore there is a shortfall of 3 car parking spaces as we would normally expect to see in the region of 33 car parking spaces associated with this development.

The Council usually requires parking to be provided at or close to the maximum standards but in certain circumstances we may accept lower levels of parking if the applicant can demonstrate that the development is well served by sustainable modes of transport. Therefore we object to this application until the applicant provides a Transport Statement providing evidence that the hotel and flats are served by high Page 2 of 3 quality pedestrian and cycle facilities and there is convenient access to nearby frequent public transport services. We are satisfied with the level of disabled car parking."

The present sorry state of what was once one of Nairns's most popular hotels