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Street takeover by filming crews in Homerton drives residents’ to the edge

Mark Mullen complains about the parking suspension at Belsham Street due to filming. Mark Mullen complains about the parking suspension at Belsham Street due to filming.

Monday, May 19, 2014
12:00 PM

Residents have complained that film crews are taking over the parking bays which they have paid for.

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Council notifies resident of parking suspensions on May 11Council notifies resident of parking suspensions on May 11

People who live Belsham Street, Homerton, are in uproar that production companies which shoot at two private studios nearby are parking their vehicles, toilets and equipment in the residents’ bays.

Mark Mullen said: “We pay £112 per year for residential parking. So far this year, we have lost 10 to 12 days because the council rents out the bays to film studios. I have to find somewhere else to park. I think it’s disgusting.

Unreasonable

“The film crews park on double yellow lines without any penalty. If I park on a double yellow line I would get towed away.

“Hackney are using parking as a cash cow and residents are getting their backsides smacked.”

Set designer and neighbour Janet Bird, 40, said: “The council will give film crews resident parking permits. The crews will fill up the streets.

“Between that and the builders you can’t park for love nor money. They start so early. You can hear people outside from 7am.

“They are treating it more like a studio than a residential location.”

Ben Barfoot, 36, added: “This street is being treated as a set. You walk out your door and you have a workforce. You have to move your car and there are toilets outside your window. The parking bay you pay for is given to someone else. It’s a bit unreasonable. There are no benefits to us at all. It’s a hindrance.”

Resident Joe McCarthy, 42, said: “It’s very annoying. They park in more places than they should and Hackney Council are not monitoring it. People should take taxis to the shoot rather than taking over the street.”

Film companies pay £23 for each bay they use per job. Hackney Council maintained it primarily suspended pay and display bays and - on rare occasions - residents’ bays.

A spokesman said: “Hackney is an increasingly popular destination for film crews, and the industry brings a significant amount of business to the borough.

“The role of the film office is to manage this increase and try to strike a balance between the needs of all of those who live and work in Hackney.”

Emma Plimmer, director of JK Gallery in Belsham Street, said: “As far as I know there are three studios on the street. We have been here for 15 years and have an established business.

“I think the main problem is that a building site is taking up a heap of parking on the U-bend which has exacerbated the parking situation. We only allow three vehicles to park. Toilets are not allowed on the road. It’s very hard to manage compensation.”

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