Anger over proposed parking cameras in Telford
A number plate recognition camera could soon be installed at a supermarket car park entrance in Telford – despite 199 objection letters and an 860-name petition.
Euro Car Parks have applied to build a 12-foot pole to hold the device outside Morrisons in Lawley.
The company, which operates more than 1,000 paid car parks across Europe, also plans to build a sign to display the fees to be charged at the Gresham Drive store.
A report recommends councillors grant planning permission when they meet next week, but acknowledges people’s concerns that other neighbouring businesses may suffer.
In the report for the Telford and Wrekin planning committee the authors write: “Immediately adjacent to the car park to the south is a Morrisons supermarket, who are the leaseholders of the site, surrounded by a mixture of smaller commercial units to the west within the square itself consisting of retail units, cafes, takeaways and offices for which the car park currently serves.
“The car park itself is currently unrestricted, utilised by the customers and staff of the Morrisons supermarket, retail units of Lawley Square, and other surrounding uses.
“The pole would be situated at the entrance and exit of the car park, which in this case only consist of one access in and out. The access for the car park would remain unchanged.”
The decision about the sign will be made separately.
No neighbouring properties were formally consulted, but site notices were posted.
“As a result, 199 letters of objection were received alongside a petition of 860 signatures,” the authors add.
Among other concerns, the letters stated the car park is used by many other surrounding businesses, including shops, a gym, a nursery and a doctor’s surgery.
“The car park is not solely for use by Morrisons’ customers,” the authors write, summarising the objections. “Non-profit organisations such as charity shops and the Lawley running club will suffer as a result.”
They add that Lawley residents already pay £250 annually to the Bourneville Village Trust to maintain the site.
The authors add: “Whilst the local planning authority are grateful for the input of local residents, officers can only consider concerns which are material planning considerations, which, unfortunately, these are not.”
Lawley and Overdale Parish Council and Councillor Jayne Greenaway, who represents the Horsehay and Lightmoor ward, have objected to the proposal, but council officers recommend the committee votes in favour when it meets on Wednesday, November 14.
By Alex Moore, local democracy reporter