'Residents have no claim to Asda Highbridge parking spaces'
District Council has this week said that supermaket Asda does not
legally have to provide 24 parking spaces in its car park for residents
living near its Highbridge store.
comments come after we first
reported here last week that Asda has introduced a two-hour
maximum stay in its car park for customers. Signs installed state
that the car park is a "customer-only car park for use only
whilst shopping in store."
has employed a contractor, ParkingEye Limited, to use number plate
recognition cameras to monitor use and issue £70 fines to
motorists breaking the rules.
local residents say they rely on the car park due to a lack of local
parking spaces in Highbridge town centre, with nearby side roads
had hoped a formal planning letter dated April 2006, would prove
their claim that Asda should provide spaces for residents. The letter
indicates that "24 spaces will be available for the residents
of Church Street and adjoining areas".
Sedgemoor District Council spokesperson Paula Barber has
said this week: "An aspirational statement made on a letter
which includes a mention of allowing 24 spaces to be left over for
residents of Church Street 'and surrounding areas' - which could
mean a number of roads - was never backed up by a planning condition,
probably because it would be nearly impossible to police or administer."
the statement has no status in planning law and one can only rely
on the goodwill of Asda if they wish to honour this aspirational
is no basis in planning on which we could use our enforcement powers
in this instance I regret. I hope that the residents and Asda can
come to a practical and reasonable solution to this matter."
Asda spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Our aim is
to make shopping with Asda as easy as possible, so to ensure that
all of our customers have access to a parking space when they visit
our Highbridge store, we have recently introduced a two hour parking
limit. For those customers who need a little more time to finish
their shop just need to let one of our colleagues know."
councillor John Parkes told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I have
been contacted by many residents who are rightly furious that these
restrictions have been introduced without any proper consultation."
new rules have suddenly been brought in with no regard for residents
which, given that Asda claims to be a community-minded organisation,
are shocking. To say that residents are fuming is an under statement."
added: "I have been in contact with Sedgemoor District Council
to clarify the position for residents who have previously parked
in the Asda car park for several years."
have seen a letter stating that there is 'no legal requirement'
for Asda to provide parking spaces for residents, but the district
council negotiated with Asda for it to provide some spaces several
that Church Street is mainly double yellow lined and side roads
are already filled with parked vehicles, this is a real problem
for the town."
new restrictions appear to have been a knee-jerk reaction to residents
using the car park without any thought of the follow-on consequences
for the local community."
residents have criticised Asda on social media for the decision.
Lee said: "Where exactly is there anywhere for Highbridge residents
to park if they cannot park outside where they live."
resident Tess Prodger added: "When we moved in five years ago
I spoke to the store who said it was no problem to park there."
resident, Laura Cooper, adds: "I've been in Asda and spoke
to the manager. The car park is owned by Asda, not the council,
and they said due to cars being dumped and left in the car park
untaxed they have installed the cameras. I asked what about residents
and he said that they can't park there overnight anymore from when
the cameras are turned on."