A HOUSING development company is to implement parking fines for parents dropping off kids near Westhoughton High School

Silkash is a recent housing development by Northstone that is located a in close proximity of the school, and it has been announced that there be charges for non-residents who choose to park there as of Monday, February 7.

The roads concerned are Winterbourne Drive, Spinney Way, Loke Lane, Dimple Still Close and Hazeling Lane.

But one parent said: “If you don’t want cars outside your house then don’t buy next to a school in the first place. We were here first.”

The parent is concerned about projects such as Silkash and the knock-on effect it has on the community:

She added: “I think this is a massive problem. Small places like Westhoughton are being expanded and it’s causing problems. The main problem is with congestion.

“We don’t want this in our community. Big corporate companies want us to go away. Well, we want them out.”

The issues around parking and traffic congestion are not new ones in Westhoughton, and they are expected to be addressed as a result of funding secured for the town centre from Bolton Council.

Bolton West MP Chris Green said: “There are significant traffic problems in Westhoughton, and with Bolton Council giving £4m to Westhoughton Town Council for the regeneration project, I want them to come forward rapidly with some decisions.

“We want people to come to the town centre, but we don’t want to start charging them to park as that will deter people coming.”

Westhoughton South councillor, David Wilkinson, was previously chair of the steering group in charge of allocating the funds.

He said: “When I was chair of the steering group, we approved a car parking survey in October last year, but it is not yet complete.

“I’m told the results are being examined by officers in Bolton Council. The sooner we know the sooner we can start to make decisions.”

Dan Hewins, customer experience manager at Northstone, said: “Following concerns and feedback from our Silkash community, and having already tried several different approaches to resolve these challenges, we have chosen to implement parking measures on the development as part of our commitment to keep our residents safe.”

Bosses at Northstone say they wish to make it clear it is ES Parking Enforcement Ltd (ESPEL) which is responsible for monitoring the parking restrictions and are therefore the ones receiving any funds from fines.

A spokesman for ESPEL added “The new measures will mean that only authorised permit holders will be able to park at any time. Any breach of the terms and conditions may result in a parking charge notice being issued.”

Neil Coe, Westhoughton High’s head, added: “As a community school we respect our neighbours and are keen to support residents.

“We have worked with Silkash and appealed to parents to be respectful.

“Some did show respect, but unfortunately some people continued to park there and, in some cases were blocking driveways.

“The school site is not always accessible at pick up and drop off times, but there are other car parks close by.”