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Highgate CPZ: Final decision on tougher parking restrictions to be made in August

PUBLISHED: 17:10 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 16 July 2019

Highgate High Street looking south. Picture: Polly Hancock

Highgate High Street looking south. Picture: Polly Hancock

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The decision on whether tougher parking restrictions will come into force in Highgate, will be taken next month, Camden Council has said.

Elspeth Clements and Michael Hammerson stand next to a sign with Highgate's current parking hours. Picture: Polly HancockElspeth Clements and Michael Hammerson stand next to a sign with Highgate's current parking hours. Picture: Polly Hancock

The proposed regulations were the subject of a bitter dispute between the council, residents and businesses on Highgate High Street earlier this year.

A fractious meeting of more than 160 people at the Gatehouse Theatre saw the plans to extend restrictions from 8.30am to 6pm on weekdays come under fire.

Currently drivers only need to buy tickets between 10am and midday. A consultation found in favour of keeping the rules as they are by a wafer thin margin.

The plans were initially supposed to come into force from April, but a decision is yet to be announced.

Nicola Caisley and Bee Kwan with leafets about proposed changes to Highgate's CPZ, in Pond Square Highgate Village. Picture: Polly HancockNicola Caisley and Bee Kwan with leafets about proposed changes to Highgate's CPZ, in Pond Square Highgate Village. Picture: Polly Hancock

According to a Camden Council spokesperson this week, a decision report is being put together for the director of place management at the Town Hall. A decision will then be taken, with the council looking to finalise it in August.

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When they were announced, the proposals sparked fears for businesses and the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institute who runs classes and talks at its site in Pond Square.

At the time Phyllis Harper, who owns Highgate Butchers, warned it would lead to an empty High Street. "We are struggling to survive already and we will be more impacted," she said.

The problem is made all the more difficult as Highgate's high street is split down the middle, between Haringey Council and Camden Council.

When the original controlled parking zone (CPZ) was introduced in 2003, it triggered fevered objections, including some residents hiring a double-decker bus to take protesters to a Haringey Council meeting.

Chair of the Highgate Society, Elspeth Clements said they had been trying to arrange a meeting with the council to discuss the decision. However Camden has said it will only meet with them once a decision has been taken.

She said: "We were told they wouldn't be making a decision until the summer because of the massive number of objections they have had to go through.

"We've been contacting them about it and have been brushed off. My suspicion is that they will have to continue with the original decision. We're not happy about it."

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