Aldi’s Car Park – A Clarification on Closing Times
Following numerous enquiries regarding the closing time and the issuance of Penalty Charge Notices after 8.30pm at the Aldi’s Car Park in Gaynes Road, Cllr Linda Hawthorn has liaised with the relevant council department to establish a consistent understanding of the opening hours and to seek a way forward that provides greater clarity. Local resident, Sarah Jane Scrace, very helpfully raised an issue regarding timing discrepancies on the tickets from the Pay and Display machine in the car park which helped focus on the overall opening/closing times of the site – thank you Sarah for that.
The main points are below:
- Aldi’s car park, Gaynes Road, is managed by way of a lease agreement between the Council and Aldi’s. The lease agreement has been in place since 2007 and is valid for a period of 25 years. The current lease agreement with Aldi stipulates that the closing time of the car park is 8:30pm every day. It is the responsibility of Aldi to lock the car park at this time and to ensure that they are not in breach of the lease agreement by not carrying out the closure of the car park at the times required. Historically there were continuing issues raised by residents in the immediate vicinity of the car park about it not being locked at the time required. Aldi gave assurances that the car park would be locked by them in accordance with the lease agreement. However, Traffic and Parking have been made aware that the locking of the car park has once again become sporadic.
- Any changes to the current lease agreement would require a formal request to be made by Aldi to the Council in order for a review and any legal amendments required to be made. The Council would also need to consider and consult with the local residents in respect of any amendments, especially in respect of later closing times.
- There have now been discussions between the Council and Aldi in respect of extending the operational hours of the car park to match that of the store and plans are underway to advertise a proposal to support such an amendment. The proposals to amend the operational hours of the car park are subject to comments and objections and so a definitive date for the change cannot be provided at this stage. However, there is no agreement to give free parking in the car park for shoppers who spend a certain amount of money and this option is not currently being considered.
- In respect of Penalty Charge Notices issued at the car park, having taken into consideration the signage and operational inconsistencies of it not being locked at the appropriate time in accordance with the lease, Traffic and Parking Officers have agreed to:
- cease enforcement action in the car park after the hours of 8:30pm
- to amend the signage within the car park to make it clearer to the customer
- to cancel any PCN’s issued for being parked in the car park when closed (letters will be sent directly to those residents involved)
- to refund any paid PCN’s issued for being parked in the car park when closed (reversal payments will be processed to the debit/credit card payee).
Many thanks to Cllr Hawthorn for following up and providing this information.