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Fines to be enforced for illegal parking at Dereham’s Cherry Tree car park

Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Drivers who park illegally in disabled bays or across the white lines at Dereham’s biggest free car park will soon face fines after a new civil enforcement regime is introduced.

Breckland Council has agreed to implement the measures in response to complaints about illegal and inconsiderate parking at the Cherry Tree car park – including overnight stops by HGVs and refrigerated lorries.

Fines of £50 or £70 could be slapped on offending vehicles, rising to £105 if not paid in time, but the council stressed that the car park would remain a 24-hour free facility for those who use it properly.

Mark Kiddle-Morris, Breckland’s executive member for assets and strategic development, said: “We have had several complaints about the continued misuse of parking bays, particularly the designated disabled spaces, cars straddling the white lines and the most annoying one is HGVs staying overnight, with their refrigerators running all night.

“Parking sensibly is a matter of common courtesy and people who do not respect the rules are creating problems for others.”

Mr Kiddle-Morris made the decision for powers to be granted to West Norfolk Council to carry out enforcement measures on Breckland’s behalf.

He said the neighbouring authority, based in King’s Lynn, has the back-office facilities to process tickets and fines and already enforces on-street parking in Dereham – but the new agreement will be Breckland’s first off-street civil enforcement scheme.

The initial plans were to put up notices warning of the impending actions within the next two weeks, but that has since been delayed while a solution is reached to allow Dereham’s market traders to park.

Mr Kiddle-Morris said: “The guys who work on the market come in wagons which are bigger than the parking bays, so we are trying to work out a permit system to allow them to continue using the car park. That is the reason for the delay, but before we do any enforcement we will put up notices first to advise people what is happening.

“We don’t know exactly when that will be, but we will not do anything without giving due warning that if people misuse the car park they can expect to be fined.”

The enforcement action will be for an initial trial period of six months, after which it will be reviewed. Mr Kiddle-Morris said the council would be charged £50 for each visit by the enforcement team. The lines on the car park were repainted earlier this year to ensure that spaces are clearly marked.

What do you think of the enforcement proposals for the Cherry Tree car park? Write, including your address and contact details, to dft.letters@archant.co.uk.

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