Residents in Purley, Sanderstead, Kenley and beyond are asking for their neighbours to join with them in posting objections on the council’s online planning portal to Tesco’s application for permission to instal two ANPRs – automatic number plate recognition cameras – at their Purley superstore.
The supermarket operators want to use the automated cameras to stop visitors to Purley town centre utilising their car park without charge – even though provision for this was one of the conditions of the planning permission they were granted by the council 34 years ago.
According to residents, “When Tesco were originally granted planning permission in 1987, there was a condition that they provided free parking for the public of up to three hours, to enable people to use other stores to shop in Purley, to attend the dentist, their doctors or hairdressers. This free element was regardless as to whether you went into the store or not.
“The Section 106 agreement, dated May 2000, reinforces that the previous planning applications – from 1994, 1998 and 1999 – that parking had to be free for the first three hours – so the public could park there for any other shopping in Purley.”
Now, Tesco want to deter people from using their car park, unless they spend at least £5 in the store.
Other Purley-based businesses were wary of a large superstore being opened on their doorsteps, with Tesco’s massive scale enabling to under-cut rivals’ prices and suck the life out of other businesses nearby. The parking concession was a way of easing those concerns.
After more than a year of coping with lockdown, this removal of free parking is clearly the last thing that the shops and businesses in Purley town centre need.
According to one residents’ association, “This planning application is an attempt to alter the free element of the planning permission.
“If you don’t want this, please object by clicking on ‘make a comment’ at the top of the window that opens.”
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