Residents use 1960s covenant to ban parking in Southend street

Parking restrictions on a seafront road in Southend are set to be extended after residents demanded the conditions of a 60-year-old agreement are enforced.

Residents living in Thorpe Bay Gardens off Southend seafront used the small print in the covenant set up in the 1960s when the council bought the land to call for the installation of double yellow lines.

They are hoping it will deter increasing numbers of visitors parking there.

Limiting parking all year round on the north side of the road was discussed on Thursday.

Current restrictions ban parking between 9am and 6pm between March and October.

Councillors were told that legally highways regulations took precedence over any covenant.

Councillor Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council and chairman of the committee said: “We’ve had emails in from the chairman of the Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association and out of 29 homes 27 people have come forward to say they would like to see the restrictions increased.

“They wanted double yellow lines but personally I don’t think that is necessary.

“The risk of not doing anything and  revising it 12 months time would be that the people of Thorpe Bay Gardens would take the council to court, not the highway authority, for not adhering to the covenant when they bought the land in 1962.”

Residents also called for double yellow lines along Barrow Sands and Marcus Avenue.

Andrew Moring, Conservative councillor for Eastwood Park ward questioned how popular the move would be.

He said: “You’ve introduced a lot of evidence about the numbers of people putting in letters of complaint but they have not been produced at this meeting.

“We only have hearsay evidence. Surely what we should do is start the process and do it properly, follow the rules. Then we will know. I can go round the estate and get far more letters objecting than you’ll ever get supporting them so this is just a little game of numbers.”

Councillors voted six votes to six, with Cllr Woodley using his casting vote in favour of implementing the year round restrictions during a 12-month period of consultation.


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter