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Earlham House Shopping Centre traders consider purchasing car park to protect their futures

PUBLISHED: 08:18 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 08:18 21 April 2017

Traders at Earlham House Shopping Centre are considering purchasing a car park in a bid to protect their future. Photo: Luke Powell

Traders at Earlham House Shopping Centre are considering purchasing a car park in a bid to protect their future. Photo: Luke Powell

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Traders at Earlham House Shopping Centre are considering purchasing a car park in a bid to protect their futures.

Business owners met this evening in Norwich to discuss controversial new parking rules proposed for the Earlham Road complex.

A sign erected earlier this month states people will have to pay for parking at the centre “from or around” June 1.

But traders fear it could result in a 30pc reduction in their revenue as customers look to shop elsewhere.

It has led to them looking at alternative options as to how to reduce the impact of the proposed changes.

Speaking at tonight’s meeting Luke Coathup, owner of The Green Grocers, suggested business owners could attempt to buy the car park.

He said: “I think it is up for us to come up with some potential options.

“But there has to be a win, win for us and a win, win for Bellgold [the car park’s owner] else they won’t listen.

“What sort of sums are Bellgold talking about when it comes to wanting a return on their investment?”

The car park is owned by Bellgold Properties Ltd, and is monitored by National Parking Enforcement through the use of CCTV cameras.

Shoppers are currently allowed to park for two hours free of charge, but must not return within 24 hours.

But it will soon become a “pay on foot” car park this summer.

Mr Coathup also suggested asking for the owners to consider giving shoppers 30 minutes free before making them pay.

He added: “The other option is to take a financial hit and pay for customers’ parking for them.”

Meanwhile other business owners said a sum of money could be made available to Bellgold in order for it not to charge customers.

Francis Yelin, owner of Kuzma, said: “I would be up for a share of a group purchase [of the car park]. When someone then sells a unit, that right gets passed on.”

But the traders, who were joined by a representative of the shopping centre’s Co-operative store and various city councillors, agreed it would need to be a “viable proposition”.

They agreed to try and contact Bellgold for more information about the changes.

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