Controversial car park ‘still giving fines’ despite no planning permission or signs

The controversial Winelodge Hotel car park in Oulton Broad. Picture: Google

The controversial Winelodge Hotel car park in Oulton Broad. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Drivers are reportedly still being fined at a controversial car park which was built without necessary permission that currently has no warning signs.

In August, East Suffolk Council opened an investigation into the car park which businesses and residents claim used to be free on Bridge Road in Oulton Broad when it emerged the signage and machines were built without planning permission.

There are currently no signs or machinery on the site as the council investigates. However, drivers are reportedly still receiving fines.

John Simmonds, 73, a pensioner from Gorleston, claims he was fined £60 for using the car park for three minutes as he tried to buy dinner with no warning.

Mr Simmonds said: "There was nothing I could see which indicated I needed to pay.

"I went into the chip shop and the women told me not to go in or they'll fine you.

"I couldn't see any machine at all, I just pulled in and went into the fish and chip shop for three minutes.

"I'm absolutely disgusted. That's £20 per minute.

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"There were no signs that were pay and display, or none that I could see.

"I'm flabbergasted that they have the audacity to send this through to me."

In August a council spokesman said: "A change of parking designation from free to charging does not in itself require planning permission, as there is no material change in the use of the land.

"However, any physical features required to enable fee charging may require consent, including machines and signage."

Now the managing director of National Parking Enforcement, Jonathan Lecaille, has put in a planning application for new signage at 58 Bridge Road.

The planning application proposes the placement of non-illuminated advertisements, specifically "warning signage advertising terms and conditions for parking, GDPR information and CCT/ANPR information."

ANPR refers to automatic number plate recognition cameras which drivers claim have lead to 'unfair' fines of £60-100 for even briefly using the car park.

The application was lodged with East Suffolk Council on September 17. It is currently "awaiting decision" and comments can still be made.

National Parking Enforcement were approached for comment.

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