A view of the front of Hylands House

Final proposals for parking charges at Hylands Estate will be considered by Chelmsford City Council’s Cabinet next week. A new 1-hour charge, annual season ticket options for non-residents, and a 7-day per week season ticket option for Chelmsford residents have been added to the plans following two separate rounds of consultation.

Decision to charge made earlier this year

Chelmsford City Council agreed to introduce parking charges at Hylands Estate in February this year. At the moment the 574-acre historic estate costs a substantial amount to maintain, even after events income. That falls entirely on Chelmsford residents through their council tax. Charging will ensure that visitors who drive there, many of whom come from across Essex, will make a contribution.

These charges will also play an important role in helping to maintain the estate, as the Council faces a considerable post-pandemic financial shortfall, which is expected to continue in the years to come. It’s also hoped that a formal scheme in the estate’s three car parks will reduce inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous parking during busy times.

New proposals respond to feedback

The new proposals take feedback from residents and non-residents into account. They include more choices to accommodate the different ways that people say they use the estate and a number of price reductions compared to the draft proposals:

Pricing

  • Creating a 1-hour charge of £2 for residents and £3.35 for non-residents for those who wish to stay up to an hour
  • Parking for more than an hour will cost £3 for residents and £5 for non-residents
  • 5 and 7-day annual season tickets for Chelmsford residents at £4.50 and £6 a month respectively
  • 5 and 7-day annual season tickets for non-residents at £6.75 and £8.25 a month respectively
  • Chelmsford residents may also add a second car for £1.35 a month for 5 days (£16.20 a year) or £1.80 a month for 7 days (£21.60 a year)

Free Parking

  • As before, some groups and individuals would be able to park free of charge, including Blue Badge holders, residents receiving council tax support, volunteers and organised groups using Hylands for activities associated with education, mental health or disability support
  • Visitors attending weddings and other private functions and activities at the House and Grand Pavilion park free of charge
  • Charging for parking associated with outdoor events will be determined on an event-by-event basis

Chelmsford City Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Robinson, says this last phase of the scheme’s design has been essential.

“It’s taken a few months for us to go from agreeing the initial principle of parking charges to the final details of the scheme, but we want to get this right. Spreading the cost of maintaining Hylands between everyone who uses the estate has been a guiding principle of these charges, and this fairness for all must be reflected in what people pay.

So, we’ve spent some extra time going through your responses, listening to what residents and non-residents have told us about how they use Hylands. That’s why we’ve added a new charge for the first hour and more options for season tickets.

Setting new charges is always a balancing act. This scheme will provide important income to allow Hylands to thrive, but we don’t want the burden of this to fall disproportionately on those who use the estate most. The new resident annual season ticket options will reduce the price per visit to just 20p a day for daily visitors and £1 or £1.40 for those who visit weekly. Non-residents who come to Hylands a lot will also now have the option to buy an annual season ticket at a higher price, and those who come less frequently and spend less time in the park can simply pay for an hour if they wish.”

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council

Plans go to Council’s Cabinet on 12 October

If the proposals are passed by the Council’s Cabinet on 12 October, charges for parking between the hours of 9am and 6pm would come into effect at Hylands Estate on 8 November. Full details of the scheme can be found in the agenda for the meeting.

Discounted parking rates for people living in the Chelmsford City Council area would be arranged through a Chelmsford resident’s MiPermit account. More information about how to set this up will be available if the proposals are passed on 12 October.

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