Concern raised over parking at homes complex

Weavers Court in Alnwick.
Weavers Court in Alnwick.

A resident living at a housing complex designed for older people has bemoaned the lack of car-parking space at the site, saying the situation is ‘fast-becoming untenable’.

The resident has contacted the Gazette to say that those living at Karbon Homes’ Weavers’ Court site in Alnwick often find that there are no parking spaces left for them or family visitors.

He claims that members of the public – using either the café or attending activities – often take ‘valuable parking spaces’.

Karbon Homes has said that it has taken steps to try to alleviate some of the parking concerns.

In a letter to the Gazette, the resident said: ‘There are 58 apartments and about half of these have a car.

‘For these 27 cars, plus staff, carers and responders, there are 41 car parking spaces. This means there are usually only 10 spaces available to family visitors and the general public.

‘Karbon Homes has an obligation to promote community activities and this they do quite vigorously.

‘Unfortunately, all these activities, on a weekly basis, bring hordes of visitors, who in inclement weather can make use of our lounge and café areas. As residents subsidise the café, the prices therein are very attractive to the hordes.

‘Unfortunately, these visitors usually arrive in cars, taking valuable parking spaces. If residents go out in their cars, they frequently come home to find no parking spaces.

‘Karbon Homes has said that residents have no priority to spaces and all parking is on a strict first-come basis. The position is fast becoming untenable in this flagship.’

Jon McDonald, retirement living manager for Karbon Homes, said: “As an extra-care scheme, Weavers Court was designed to become a community hub, to attract different groups and individuals to use the building and the café, and create a real feeling of vibrancy. We believe this is what has been achieved. Unfortunately, there will always be differing views on car parking for a building like this, but we try to be fair to everybody. We do not offer reserved parking for residents, as we believe this would not make best use of the spaces available.

“Following some previous comments about parking from one or two residents, we responded by introducing signage, making it explicit that the parking bays were for residents and visitors to the scheme only.

“The car park is available for all those using the building, but we do have disabled parking bays at the front of the building for those who need immediate, level access into the building.

“Our staff work closely with residents and visitors to manage the parking, and we are in touch with Northumberland Estates to manage the use of the access road into the development. We are proud to say that Weavers’ Court has become a success story for the residents and the wider community.”