Stop the Monster Multi-Storey Car Park in Berkhamsted

by Berkhamsted Residents against the Monster Multi-Storey Car Park

Stop the Monster Multi-Storey Car Park in Berkhamsted

by Berkhamsted Residents against the Monster Multi-Storey Car Park
Berkhamsted Residents against the Monster Multi-Storey Car Park
This page has been set up by a group of concerned residents opposed to the development of an eight half level multi-storey car park in the heart of Berkhamsted’s conservation area.
Funded
on 12th February 2017
£12,830
pledged by 378 people
Berkhamsted Residents against the Monster Multi-Storey Car Park
This page has been set up by a group of concerned residents opposed to the development of an eight half level multi-storey car park in the heart of Berkhamsted’s conservation area.

THANK YOU! 

March 8, 2017

Our initial CrowdJustice campaign is nearly at a close and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to you and everyone who’s pledged support.  Achieving almost £13,000 in pledges from people across Berkhamsted is an amazing success.  Thank you so much for what you’ve made possible. Read on to find out how your pledges are already having an impact and what happens next.

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There’s still a chance to stop plans to build a 327 space, 8 half level multi-storey car park in the heart of Berkhamsted’s conservation area.  Here's how:

The background

On 22nd December 2016, Dacorum Borough Council approved planning permission for a massive multi-storey car park on Lower Kings Road, next to Waitrose, subject to conditions. This was despite opposition from many local residents, businesses, environmentalists and parking experts. Even Waitrose lodged objections to the plans.

We have taken advice from an experienced planning barrister at Landmark Chambers. He believes that there are grounds for a judicial review of Dacorum’s decision as they failed to take into account two material considerations when reaching their decision:

  • The planning officer failed to demonstrate that there is a clear demand for more parking at the moment – the Urban Transport Plan requires “a full parking analysis” to ensure that there is demand for more spaces
  • The planning officer failed to assess the extent to which a multi-storey car park development is supported by the Site Allocations Development Plan Document which required a full analysis of the National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 216.

We are now building a campaign to seek a judicial review of this decision and we need your support!

If we are successful in obtaining a judicial review, we have a chance to apply community pressure on our elected representatives at the Council to ask them to consider better, cheaper and more sustainable alternatives whilst they undertake a full parking analysis to properly establish demand. This would be before they spend at least £3m of tax payers’ money on this car park. In our view, this monster multi-storey car park will create even greater gridlock and will be a permanent eye-sore for generations to come.

So far all the legal advice we have obtained has been paid for by a small group of concerned residents – we have already raised approximately £4,500 to obtain the barrister’s preliminary advice and to instruct him to draft an application for leave to seek a judicial review. This had to be done extremely quickly and as a result, there was no time to set up this fundraising page.

The next step will be to prepare the paperwork necessary for a hearing following which we will be advised whether permission has been given to us to seek a judicial review.  We have set an initial target of £5,000 - this will help us prepare for the next stage in the legal fight.  If we get to a full judicial review, we will need even more financial support, hence why we have set a stretch target.

No funds will be taken from your card unless we hit our initial target.  So you can donate knowing your money will only be used if we get the amount we need.

There is still a chance to stop the plans to build a 327 space, 8 half level  multi-storey car park in the heart of Berkhamsted's conservation area.  Please help by donating what you can now.

Why we must stop this monster multi-storey car park

  • There is no evidence that there is sufficient demand for a massive multi-storey car park
  • Lower Kings Road is already badly congested and an 8 half-level multi-storey car park will make it worse – the entrance/exit will be on the only north/south direct route across the town
  • A massive multi-storey car park in this conservation area, canal-side location will be an   eye-sore
  • More cars driving down Lower Kings Road will increase pollution and reduce air quality which has levels of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) already at or above recommended safe levels
  • Dacorum Borough Council have largely ignored the views and ideas of residents in pushing through their plan and may not have placed all material considerations before those making the decision to grant planning permission
  • The Council should not waste any more public money on this flawed solution to parking in the town centre and should stop their plans now

Please help by donating what you can now.  Thank you.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow the campaign on Twitter

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THANK YOU! 

March 8, 2017

Our initial CrowdJustice campaign is nearly at a close and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to you and everyone who’s pledged support.  Achieving almost £13,000 in pledges from people across Berkhamsted is an amazing success.  Thank you so much for what you’ve made possible. Read on to find out how your pledges are already having an impact and what happens next.

 

THE MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK HAS BEEN STOPPED…FOR NOW

You’ve already made a difference.  Councillors advised a recent meeting of the Berkhamsted Parking Forum that all work on the monster multi-storey car park is suspended until this legal action is resolved. This means your support, in helping to fund the first stages of our case for a judicial review, has already had an impact.

However we aren’t there yet.  In the last few days we’ve learned of Dacorum Borough Council’s determination to continue with their multi-storey car park and contest our legal challenge.  We may have hoped they’d listen to the many voices in Berkhamsted against these plans and stop now but we honestly didn’t expect anything else.  This means it’s now down to a Judge to decide whether to give us permission for a judicial review.

The funds raised so far have enabled us to hire legal counsel to prepare fully for this, and our final arguments will be submitted to Court and served on Dacorum Borough Council shortly.

We remain confident of the legal grounds for our argument for a judicial review and the paperwork Dacorum Borough Council have supplied in response has not changed our view. But there’s no certainty of the outcome.

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

We are advised that the issue of permission is normally dealt with by a Judge reviewing the papers rather than a full hearing taking place.  So the papers will probably be put before a Judge in the next 3-4 weeks for them to determine whether permission will be granted.  If they agree with us, we would then be able to apply for a judicial review of the decision to grant planning permission for this monster multi-storey car park.

On the legal front, we have done all we can for now.

 

IT DOESN’T STOP HERE

Until we know whether we can take this campaign to a full judicial review we don’t need to raise more funds.  So we are pausing our CrowdJustice fundraising for now. 

However that doesn’t mean our campaign stops.  We need to maintain pressure on Dacorum Borough Council so they understand the true strength of feeling about this issue.  

If you support our campaign, please can you:

a) put a poster in your window and/or in your car window – email monstermultistoreymistake@hotmail.com and we will drop one round

b) express your feelings about these plans to your local Councillors in person at the Annual Town Meeting on 30th March at 7.30pm in Berkhamsted Town Hall.

 

FINALLY…

…a reminder that we aren’t campaigning against cars or car parks. We all agree Berkhamsted has parking problems.  The Parking Forum was set up by Berkhamsted Town Council in 2012 to identify solutions to the problems of parking in Berkhamsted and it has made numerous suggestions for ways to create more parking spaces in the town.  So far these have all been ignored and instead the Council has appeared determined to pursue the building of a massive multi-storey car park in the middle of a conservation area and on one of the town’s busiest streets.  

To do this, we believe they need to demonstrate clear evidence of the present demand for this solution and to have thought through the impact on traffic flow in the town.  Our argument is that they have failed sufficiently to do either.  We want these plans stopped so they can consider better, cheaper and more sustainable alternatives whilst they undertake a full parking analysis to properly establish present demand in the town.

Thank you for stopping this monster multi-storey car park – for now.  Please continue to show your support by displaying posters and attending the Annual Town Meeting.  And be ready to help in any way you can if the Judge agrees to give us permission for a judicial review.

 

THANK YOU!

You are amazing!

Feb. 12, 2017

Thank you!  Together we’ve raised our initial target of £5,000 in only 4 days.  That’s a fantastic achievement, thank you so much for your support and generosity.

The fact that the campaign has been so successful is a clear demonstration of the strength of feeling about this issue in Berkhamsted.  

Hitting our initial target means a few things:

  • Your pledges become donations and our legal team get access to the funds they need to get us to the next stage.  Dacorum have 21 days following service to respond to our legal action, after which the papers will be passed to a Judge for him to decide if our case is arguable.  Our counsel believes that it is. Your donations so far cover the costs of preparing for this hearing. 
  • It would be nice to think that Dacorum Borough Council will use this moment to rethink its approach but we need to be prepared for the fact that they won’t.  So our goal now becomes a stretch target - £25,000 – which represents the amount we believe we need to fight the case to its conclusion.   If the Judge agrees to give permission to apply for a judicial review, our legal team will need additional money for Counsel to represent us at the substantive hearing and to fund any adverse costs if we aren’t ultimately successful.
  • Our campaign isn’t over. Thanks to your help, we have sufficient donations to get us to the next stage.  We now need to continue to raise money in order to be ready for a substantive hearing and also to ensure Councillors are in no doubt as to the willingness of Berkhamsted residents to take this campaign right to the end.

We’d like to draw your attention to the CrowdJustice FAQs page which details what happens to your money. In brief, all funds raised are paid directly to named legal teams.  Any funds unused are returned to CrowdJustice for use on other campaigns. Needless to say, unless you give a substantial amount (£1,000+), there are no possibilities of refunds whether we win or lose…

Thank you again for your support, pledges and good wishes. We’re thrilled at the response so far.  We will continue to post updates on this site to let you know what is happening.  

Please continue to share details of the campaign with others, please like/follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and help us raise the funds needed to give us the best chance possible of stopping this monster multi-storey mistake.

 

 

About the team behind this campaign

This CrowdJustice campaign has been created by a group of concerned Berkhamsted residents opposed to this monster multi-storey car park development.  Many of the people involved led the campaign against the plans last year.  In January we created an informal steering group which includes the names listed below (and others) to take our campaign a step further.  

We represent a cross-section of our community and a range of political opinions.  What unites us is that we all live or work in Berkhamsted and we all care passionately about protecting our local community and environment.  Many of us have funded the initial legal steps, others are providing their time and support.  

We all want the Council to consider better, cheaper and more sustainable alternatives before they spend at least £3m of tax payers’ money on a monster multi-storey car park that will create even greater gridlock and will be a permanent eye-sore for generations to come.

Please use this central email address if you want to help or get involved – monstermultistoreymistake@hotmail.com.

 

Matt Carter

Wendy Conian

Andrew Doran

Fiona Duck

Vernon Garnham

Colin Garrett

Paul de Hoest

Andrew Horton

Alison McMunn

Peter McMunn

Elizabeth O’Reilly

Nick O’Reilly

Garrick Stevens

Rachel Williamson

Thank you

Feb. 9, 2017

Thank you so much for your support. Here's our first update so you know what's going on with the campaign.

Yesterday we served legal papers on Dacorum Borough Council giving them the detailed grounds and a statement of facts prepared by our barrister for why we want to apply for a judicial review. Their consultants White Young Green were also served with the same documents.  Last week in the Royal Courts of Justice we had sought leave to apply for a judicial review and yesterday’s visit to the Council’s Hemel Hempstead offices completes the first stage of our legal battle.

Dacorum Borough Council now have 21 days to indicate whether they intend to defend the application. If they do, the papers will go to a Judge for him to determine whether permission will be given to apply for judicial review – a permission hearing.  

In the meantime, thank you so much for your generosity.  We are completely overwhelmed at the speed with which donations have come in.  Together you've raised over half of our initial target in less than a day.  It really shows just how strongly people feel about this issue.

But our work is far from done.  We need to raise as much money as we can and also as much awareness as possible about the issues behind this campaign.  

Leaflets are being printed and letters prepared as I type, for sharing across the community from this weekend.

If you can spare an hour to help, please email monstermultistoreymistake@hotmail.com

And if you can, please keep showing your support by sharing our posts on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Thank you!

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