COUNTY bosses have approved a raft of new parking restrictions in Chester-le-Street.

This week, Durham County Council’s Highways Committee discussed a major refresh of parking rules at several locations in the town.

The proposals followed consultation with residents, councillors and local business owners.

In action, the new restrictions aimed to improve road safety and tackle issues such as obstructive parking and long-stay parking – with five individual schemes proposed.

This included the introduction of a "permit holders only" area on streets encompassing the Holmlands Park Estate between Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-11.30am and 12.30pm-2.30pm.

The permit scheme aimed to address obstructive parking, improve accessibility and to facilitate access for residents.

Streets affected by the changes include Holmlands Park, Eardulph Avenue, Lindom Avenue, Lindisfarne Avenue, Roman Avenue and St Cuthbert’s Avenue.

According to a report prepared for the highways committee, there had been multiple reports of non-resident vehicles obstructing streets and preventing access to services, including waste collection crews and emergency services.

While a permit parking scheme was previously attempted at the estate in 2014/15, it was abandoned after the scheme failed to win majority support from residents.

Following a recent consultation between February and March 2020, the council received 123 representations in support and 24 objections.

Penny Williams, of the Holmlands Park Residents Association, spoke in support of the plans at Monday’s virtual council meeting.

Addressing the Highways Committee directly, she said the changes would “allow the estate to become just that, a housing estate and not a car park.”

The supporter added that the permit scheme would “make the estate safer not just for the many elderly residents but for all of the residents on the estate.”

Following discussion, the Holmlands Park Estate permit scheme was given the stamp of approval by the committee.

Other parking restrictions approved at the meeting included:  Oakdale Terrace : Amending existing ‘permit parking’ restrictions to Monday-Saturday, 11am-1pm and 4pm-6pm’ to “improve accessibility for residents and address the change in parking patterns.”

Hilda Park: Double yellow lines on the junction from Hilda Park onto Pelton Lane to “improve accessibility and address obstructive parking.”

Hilda Terrace: Double yellow lines on the junction from Hilda Terrace / Glenmore Avenue onto Pelton Lane to “improve accessibility and address obstructive parking.”

Burns Green Car Park: Introducing two electric vehicle recharging bays within the car park to facilitate access for electric vehicles.