'It's a scandal': Plans to allow almost 140 commuters to park at rugby club slammed by residents
Plans to allow almost 140 commuters to park at Marlow Rugby Club have been branded a “scandal”.
The club has submitted plans to let Globe Business Park use its car park between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, which it says will “contribute to addressing the significant undersupply of parking” associated with the business park.
If given the go-ahead, the proposed development will formally lay out the existing car park to have 136 parking spaces, including 11 disabled spaces.
Outside of the proposed hours, the car park would only be for use by members of the rugby club.
It currently has provision for 240 cars without a formal layout. The access to the car park is via Gossmore Lane.
The club said the use of the car park is not closely monitored during the week and has been subject to “unauthorised parking in recent years associated with employees of Globe Park”.
Writing in the planning statement, Marlow Rugby Club said: “The existing situation at The Globe is focused upon a significant proportion of on-street parking outside designated parking bays which results in heavily parked roads and narrow road widths, with significant safety concerns raised by local residents.”
Club chairman Jeremy Povey said they would rent spaces to individual companies or landlords on globe park on a fixed term basis and this would likely be regulated by use of marked bays and display of permits.
A number of residents are concerned the proposed scheme will bring in more traffic and increase congestion in what is already a busy part of the town.
George Koteles wrote: “Lock Road and Gossmore Lane have not been designed to carry the amount of traffic that the proposed scheme will cause.
“Due to the increased congestion, it is likely that traffic will overspill into Mill Road, which is already dangerously congested by commuter parking.
“Whilst it is true that the parking situation across Marlow is out of control and that it should be an absolute priority for the council to find long-term solutions, the proposed scheme appears to be just a quick-fix which will have unintended consequences much more serious than the parking and traffic situation it intends to ease.”
And Chris Holder is worried the “increased volume of traffic” and “sub-standard driving by some people” will “undoubtedly increase the likelihood of an accident occurring”.
Keith Winter said that the busy junction at the intersection of Lock Road, Station Road, Glade Road and Station Approach is “now a serious risk to accidents particularly pedestrians”, adding: “This junction is not capable of safely handling the additional cars and coaches at rush hour arising from this planning application.”
And another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s bad enough now when employees park all day outside homes in that area. Why can’t offices provide enough parking for their employees? [It] should be a planning requirement and extra parking provided on the Globe paid for by businesses.
“We need help to stop this scandal.”
The business park has long been plagued with traffic problems, with thousands of cars pouring into the Fieldhouse Lane area each day, heading to major employers on the estate like Softcat, the Crowne Plaza hotel and the popular Marlow Club gym, causing traffic chaos.
Last year, double yellow lines in Fieldhouse Lane, installed as a temporary traffic regulation order to stop people parking illegally on corners, sparked a backlash from drivers who said it would make parking on the already-busy road “even worse”.
Addressing residents’ concerns, Mr Povey said: “We are aware of the concerns of some local residents regarding the impact of traffic on approaches to the Rugby Club; these have been raised at a meeting with a group of neighbours and in subsequent objections.
“The unfortunate facts are that there is a shortage of off-street parking capacity on Globe Park (an independent parking study estimates the need for an additional 600 spaces).
“Our proposals do not generate increased traffic movements overall as those working at Globe Park will need to travel and park somewhere in Marlow.
“It remains an issue for residents whether on Lock Road and Gossmore Lane or Dedmere Road and Newtown Road on the other side until additional off street parking is provided.
“The socio-economic benefits to Marlow of the proposal are significant. The additional income that the initiative would provide will allow us to develop our facilities and help us ensure that Marlow Rugby Club not only survives but can develop and thrive for the benefit of the circa 1,500 people who use the club and the town as a whole.
“Marlow RUFC is very much part of the community – our users are not just members but also include local community groups and businesses who will also benefit from improved facilities.
“Further, resolving the parking issue at Globe Park and improving occupancy so that it thrives will bring additional employment and economic benefit to the town and wider district”.
And chairman of Globe Park BID (Business Development District) Margaret McCarthy said: “Inadequate parking is of critical concern and a matter that is not only causing a negative impact on businesses established at GBP but also on prospective tenants.
“In representing the wider business group, the BID board considers this planning application to be of great benefit to both GBP users and Marlow town in relation to the provision of services and ensuring Marlow is able to maintain its status as a desirable and competitive town.”
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
Bucks Free Press
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