December 5 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Friday, August 16, 2013
A construction firm boss is vowing to defeat Camden Council in court over parking charges and claims the authority will be forced to pay millions in refunds because of “spurious” price increases.
Richard Chaumeton, 50, from Primrose Hill, is launching a judicial review of the council’s decision to hike controlled parking zone (CPZ) charges in April 2012.
He believes it will be found by a judge to have acted unlawfully.
The case follows a landmark judicial review last month of CPZ charge increases made by Barnet Council in April 2011.
A judge ruled that the council acted unlawfully by increasing charges to pay for other transport projects. Barnet must now refund residents affected by the rise who ask for their money back, and is expected to pay £2m.
Mr Chaumeton believes his court action will have similar ramifications in Camden.
He said: “I will be successful. Camden has been a bit more cunning than Barnet but their reasoning for jacking up the permits is spurious, superficial and synthetic.
“The officers have tried to mask the real reason for putting up the permit prices, which is for income, and I’ve got all the evidence.
“The Barnet judgement is a comprehensive judgement and I know I can get the same against Camden.”
In April last year, Camden Council introduced increases to charges in CPZs. These included a 50 per cent hike in the price of annual parking permits for residents registered as tariff four permit holders, from £166.81 to £250.
Residents’ parking permits are charged under four tariffs, according to engine size or vehicle emissions with tariff four the highest, accounting for the largest engines and vehicle emissions.
Last year, the council introduced an additional £50 annual charge for residents with a second car and an extra £75 fee for a third.
The council insists the measures were introduced in a bid to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and increase off-street parking space.
A council spokesman said: “The ruling of the High Court was specific to the rationale used by Barnet Council for raising its parking permit charges and does not have direct application to Camden. The action being taken against Camden is subject to an on-going legal process and as such we cannot at this stage comment further.”