Friday, April 11, 2014
A SIDMOUTH town-centre venue has resorted to issuing permits to legitimate users because drivers are treating private property as a public car park.
Bosses at Kennaway House, a registered charity, say daily abuse of its nine spaces is stopping legitimate visitors from attending classes and enjoying what it has to offer.
Offenders use the restored Regency mansion in Coburg Road as a stop-off to go shopping, to the hairdressers - and one even brazenly told premises manager David Leach he had parked up to catch a bus.
Another driver was locked in after leaving their car in situ all day last week – only for David to find the vehicle gone the next morning and a security chain broken.
The car park is often easily filled by proper users of the house and grass areas have also been damaged by cars in the recent wet weather.
“Our facility is for users of the house, it’s not an extension of public car parks,” said chairman of trustees Diana Bowerman.
“If there’s flagrant misuse, steps will be taken. We will issue permits to legitimate users. This is a community building – the car park is for people who use the community building. It’s not for the public to use to go shopping, catch a bus or have their hair done.
“It is a shame people aren’t a bit more considerate of a community facility.
“We’re asking politely that people please do not use it as a public car park to do other things in the town.”
David added: “It [abuse of the car park] stops people coming here. If they can’t park, they won’t come to classes – tutors then won’t come and rent the rooms.
“We welcome people here if they are coming to Kennaway House and will do everything we can to accommodate them. We’ve even found spaces for people if they are here for genuine reasons.”
Kennaway House has been awarded £500 from county councillor Stuart Hughes’ locality budget to extend parking facilities with a ‘grasscrete’ area.