Saturday, 23 January 2016

Morrisons Penrith - ParkingEye ride roughshod over planning permission

This is a guest post from The Penrith Phantom.

Morrisons in Penrith is required to make its car park available for at least 2 hours free parking for everyone in accordance with the planning consent conditions for its supermarket. The parking regime has to be one approved by the local Planning Authority, Eden Council, which has approved a Car Park Management Plan which provides for 2 hours free parking between the hours of 8am and 5pm with no return within two hours. That Car Park Management Plan then indicates that unlimited free parking is available between the hours of 5pm and 8am the following day. The plan even provides that if you park at 3pm for two hours, you can actually stay for as long as like after 5pm even if that takes you over your two hours parking limit. The restriction on the two hours ends at 5pm.
ParkingEye is managing the car park and, as you can imagine, it operates contrary to the Car Park Management Plan, and thus is in breach of planning control. One of its signs here indicates that if you enter before 5pm you can only park for up to two hours. Thus if you enter at 4.30 you must leave before 6.30 – yet there is unlimited parking after 5pm according to the car park management plan. This sign also indicates that parking ceases at 11pm which is in contravention of the Car Park Management Plan.

When the Car Park Management Plan was being considered by the Eden Council’s Planning Committee, Morrisons agent, Mr Goddard of Bryan G Hall, Engineers of Leeds, confirmed that Morrisons allowed motorists a 30 minute grace period before there would be any requirement to pay a parking charge. ParkingEye does not adhere to that requirement.
So, what the Landowner wants to see from its parking enforcement is not being implemented by its agent ParkingEye. What the Planning Authority has approved as the required parking operation is not being properly implemented by Morrisons agent.
On the 20th January 2016, a spokesman for Eden Council, Mr Gwyn Clark, its Head of Planning Services, saidIt is clearly stated in the Car Park Management Plan that the two hours free parking restriction ends at 17.00 and thereafter there is unrestricted free parking outside these hours, and the Committee confirmed its acceptance of this through the approval of the Plan. I do accept that the 11pm end of parking is not mentioned in the CPMP; “  He also commented that “You are correct that as it stands the signs are therefore in contradiction of the Car Park Management Plan.
Any motorist adversely affected by ParkingEye operating in contravention of the planning conditions for the site, and the Car Park Management Plan should include these infringements in their appeal. They should also lodge a formal complain with Mr Clark at It is after all the responsibility of the Planning Authority to ensure compliance with its planning conditions
Is Morrisons going to do anything about the conduct of their agent?  Morrisons has said that if any genuine customers of Morrisons receive a parking charge then they would be willing to waive the charge. That does not assist non-customers caught out by ParkingEye’s impropriety. Further when asked if they would put a sign up in the store to let people know of this arrangement it would not confirm that it would do so. Let us hope that motorists in Penrith are clairvoyant.

Prankster Note

It does seem ironic that ParkingEye do not believe the laws of the land apply to them while charging motorists huge amounts for minor overstays.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. "It does seem ironic that ParkingEye do not believe the laws of the land apply to them while charging motorists huge amounts for minor overstays."

    A fair enough belief if judges are willing to make the law fit to suit their purpose.

  2. Simple rescind the planning approval and insist upon a fresh application.

  3. But all they need is a watch, a telescope, and a crystal ball.

  4. Simple rescind the planning approval and insist upon a fresh application.

  5. I am intrigued how Parking Eye's ANPR system can determine who is or is not a "toddler". Do they have some sort of magic age or height detector on their cameras? Anyway, what is the definition of a "toddler"?

    1. Toddler |Tod-ler|

      A typical parking company appeals assessor who rigidly applies the company's appeals procedures for fear of being sent to bed early with no supper. "I had to send another little bugger to bed again early because he allowed an appeal".

  6. Another council hoodwinked by PE tactics.

  7. An appeal would give credence to the impropriety. If there is no overstay as set out in the planning consent then no appeal should be made. I would suggest a letter telling them that you are not appealing as PE do not have the legal standing to issue charges as set out by planning consent by Eden District Council.

    The updated planning consent is here.

    The difference from the original is that this sets a standard based on long term parking and uses the comparison to council run car parks within Penrith that are subject to differential charges.

    The car parks are shown here,
    If any one of them allow for free parking at any time, including bank holidays and Sundays then the same conditions must apply to Morrisons.

  8. The signs themselves are OK it's only if PE were to seek to enforce their own parking regime that they would breach planning permission. Similarly signs stating that 'Trespassers will be shot' or 'Cars will be clamped' are OK provided that the action itself is not taken.