Council rejects calls for residential parking scheme in Thornton

Jim Aitken appears to have a fight on his hands in South Ward.
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Penrith Council has put the brakes on a residential parking scheme for Thornton Estate, claiming it’s unwarranted.

Following a request by Councillor Marcus Cornish, Council probed the implementation of a parking permit scheme that would exempt residents living in terraces, townhouses or detached dwellings from the two and four-hour parking limits currently in place across the estate.

However, following a review of transport and parking principles which underpinned the design of the estate, which lies in close proximity to Penrith Station, Council officers concluded it was not justified.

“Investigations found that such a scheme is not warranted at this time and would be unlikely to meet the criteria for the necessary approval by Transport for NSW,” a report prepared for Councillors states.

“Contemporary developments, such as Thornton, have been designed and approved on a restrictive parking framework to promote a reduced car dependency for residents living in close proximity to a major transport hub.”

During Monday night’s Ordinary Council meeting, Cr Cornish again pushed for its implementation, moving a motion for a two-year trial with backing from fellow Independent Councillors Jim Aitken and Kevin Crameri.

However, the motion was lost and the original recommendation carried.

Councillors Cornish and Crameri were critical of the estate’s design, specifically garage sizes and road widths.

“Council is at fault for this,” Cr Cornish contended.

“Having a normal-sized car, you can’t get in those garages, they’re shocking.

“There’s a lack of parking, very poor design, garbage collection is a nightmare.”

Cr Aitken fully supported the parking permits, saying “they work everywhere else”.

“Let’s give it a go, it can always be reviewed,” he said.

Cr John Thain predicted backlash from Thornton’s high density residents, adding it was inequitable.

“We’re creating two tiers here,” he said.

“What we’re saying is it’s alright if you live in a terrace, but if you live in a high rise then you don’t get the permit.”

Thornton residents have been crying out for a permit scheme for years.

In 2016, Cr Crameri lobbied for residents be able to park outside their own front doors without fear of a ticket.

Council, which has fielded consistent inquiries about the parking, said residents would be negatively impacted by commuters if restrictions were removed.

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