Concern over Sainsburys parking restriction plans

Cameras and new signs could be installed at the Sainsbury's car park

The car park with the design for one of the signs - Credit: Google/EDDC

Plans by Sainsbury's to enforce a two-hour maximum stay in its Ottery car park are causing confusion over whether town centre shoppers will still be able to use it. 

The proposals have also prompted concern about the use of the car park by residents attending evening events. 

The supermarket wants to introduce cameras using automatic number plate recognition to monitor the time vehicles arrive and leave, with a £70 fine for overstaying.  

Its planning application also includes several signs indicating ‘2 hours free parking for Sainsbury’s customers’. 

Proposed sign for Ottery Sainsbury's car park

The proposed sign saying parking is 'for Sainsbury's customers' - Credit: Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd

Ottery town council said if this means people shopping elsewhere in the town centre cannot park there, that would be ‘outrageous’. 

At the planning committee meeting on Monday, May 16 they agreed to ‘very strongly object’ to the proposal. 

Speaking to the Herald, the planning committee chairman Richard Copus said: “The spokesman for Sainsbury's at the time of the original planning application in 2008 made it crystal clear that the parking was for customers and town centre parking. 

Most Read

“The town council and East Devon District Council (EDDC) said due to the location of the store on the edge of the town centre, linked trips will be generated, thus reducing car usage.” 

The latest application will be determined by EDDC. In a comment submitted to its planning portal, Cllr Peter Faithfull said the two-hour time limit will certainly affect people using the car park for evening events. 

He said: “In evenings, when the supermarket is closed, the main use of the carpark is for the public visiting the town for the evening. Many events start at 7pm with the cars being parked for much longer than the two-hour limit. When the supermarket closed at 8pm the car park was effectively available from 6pm for the remainder of the evening and overnight.  

“The supermarket now remains open until 9pm, meaning that the final two hours of the day start at 7pm, leaving no time for members of the public time to park up and arrive at evening events.  

“There is nothing in any of the conditions to allow the public to use the carpark for over two hours when the supermarket is closed, and no guarantee that users will not be given an automatic fine.”