CAMPAIGNERS who fought tooth and nail against a new parking regime have branded the outcome “a triumph for common sense”.

Redbridge Council’s plans to introduce pay and display parking in Wanstead High Street and permits in surrounding residential roads were met with great hostility when they were first unveiled in November.

After a fierce campaign by residents and opposition councillors, in January the council agreed to ask for residents and business owners’ views before rolling it out across the board.

Despite promises the consultation would be “gold-standard” it was slammed by some as “more akin to wet cardboard”, with one resident threatening to take the case to the local government ombudsman over claims of malpractice.

So when the results were finally released on Friday (August 4), campaigners were “pleasantly surprised” to find the council has scaled the scheme down to a fraction of its original size – earmarking just 16 of the dozens of roads originally suggested for permits.

Donna Mizzi collected over 3,500 signatures for a petition against the original proposals and is heavily involved in organising craft fairs and the annual Art Trail Wanstead.

She said: “It’s a triumph for common sense and democracy. A lot of residents and business owners are celebrating.

“It’s a million times better than the original plans, which would have killed Wanstead and destroyed the four regular fairs we have here.

“But there’s still several adjustments that need to be made before the scheme can work successfully.”

Ms Mizzi says people in Elm Close have been included in Wigram Road residents’ decision to agree to permits when many did not receive the right consultation documents and some are against them.

She also expressed concern about pay and display machines due to come in on the high street only offering 30 minutes free parking before charging, claiming it will be bad for business and needs increasing to an hour or 90 minutes.

But she added: “Parking regulations have been sweeping through London boroughs and the rest of the country, so perhaps Wanstead residents’ achievements in halting the plans will make other areas fight their own corners and turn the tide.”

Helen Zammett of the Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Alliance (WASRA) met with Redbridge cabinet member for environment Cllr John Howard, officers, and other campaigners on Friday.

She said: “We were pleasantly surprised by what we read.

“Not only was the work thorough and comprehensive but above all the council has listened to residents to produce a scheme that comes as close as possible to satisfying various preferences on different roads.”

Fellow campaigner Michael Powis, who helped fight off a similar scheme in the area six years ago, added: “In light of all that’s gone on, it’s a result for the people of Wanstead.

“It proves Wanstead didn’t want this scheme in the first place.”

But some residents are still very unhappy.

Farooq Mohammed, of Draycot Road, says he is “dismayed” the council has not considered his road for parking controls when he says they are desperately needed to combat commuters, football fans, and Newham residents parking there.

He also criticised the council’s decision not to send full consultation packs to residents in his road, and signing off a letter to the council he called himself an “unhappy and defecting voter”.

In response Redbridge stressed there will be a 21-day objection period in the autumn when people can make such views clear.

Cllr Howard added: “It’s a difficult balancing act to make sure that the needs of motorists, residents and local businesses are met and I know we will never please everyone but I believe that our new proposals are what is best for the whole area.”

To read our breakdown of the consultation outcome, see Friday’s report