Actor Rupert Graves joins campaigners in Arundel Square parking battle victory

Friday, 8th January 2010

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ACTOR Rupert Graves and film director Sharon Maguire are among residents and tenants celebrating victory in a row over parking in Holloway. Mr Graves and Bridget Jones director Ms Maguire backed a campaign to keep a new £30million housing development car-free by refusing to issue parking permits to residents, as was specified in the original plans. Islington Council has finally reached an agreement with developer United Homes to have the development 80 per cent permit-free. On top of this, it has been agreed that the spaces in the basement car park can be used only by residents in the new development. Mr Graves’s wife Susie, chairwoman of Arundel Square Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said that, although campaigners wanted the development to be 100 per cent permit-free, it was still a significant victory after months of arguments. She thanked the Tribune for highlighting the issue. Ms Graves hopes all major new developments in Islington will be completely parking permit-free and that any on-site car parks would be for the sole use of residents. “Lessons have to be learnt from this case,” she added. “There must be clear wording regarding parking and permits in any planning decision notes and contracts so the problems in Arundel Square are not repeated.” Prices for many of the 144 houses and apartments built on a former bus depot range from £285,000 – for a studio flat – to £1.5million for a three-bed penthouse. There are also 40 affordable homes. Part of the original plan was that new residents could join a car club and hire a vehicle when necessary. Caroline Russell, from Islington Living Streets Campaign, has written to the council supporting its measures to reduce car use. PETER GRUNER

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