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Protest emerges as parking problems worsen at Norwich shopping complex

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 December 2012

Residents concerned about new parking restrictions at Earlham House in Norwich.  Photo: Bill Smith

Residents concerned about new parking restrictions at Earlham House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Carers, shoppers and businesses have been left struggling by new parking restrictions at a city shopping complex, protesters have warned.

People from across the Earlham Road community met to protest against the number of spaces available at Earlham House.

Parking places at the front of Bately Court, previously thought to be available, have now been confirmed as out of bounds to visitors. They have been reserved for sub-contractors helping with a near-£1m revamp of the site.

Notices warning of £60 fines have been moved into the car park.

This has further reduced the number of spaces on offer in and around Earlham House. People are limited to two hours in the two Earlham House car parks.

And one Bately Court resident, who did not wish to be named, said carers visiting people at the sheltered housing for over 65s had found it difficult to leave their vehicles in an area where they were not at risk.

She said: “These older people rely on visitors and there’s nowhere for them to park. I have lot of friends come to visit me and it’s very difficult to find where to park.”

Traders have been issued with permits giving them unrestricted access to park in the two Earlham House car parks.

But they have warned the parking changes have had a damaging affect on business, as people are unclear where they can leave their vehicles.

Iftekhar Alam, of Rice and Spice Takeaway, said: “It’s very difficult to run the business like this. No-one is coming to collect food because of the fear of a £60 fine.”

David Heath of Bellgold Properties, which owns the freehold to the site, said signs they had put up outside Bately Court were removed - causing the confusion.

Mr Heath said: “We have now replaced the signs. No shoppers or traders are permitted to park in this area presently.”

Mr Heath added businesses are able to park for up to 15 minutes for loading and unloading purposes in the service road between Earlham House and Bately Court.

Gerlinda Rehberg, who lives opposite the complex in Earlham Road, said neighbours were thinking of ways to keep spaces near their houses free for residents to use.

She said: “Very often now we can’t park near our houses. People coming here to shop and work park there as they can no longer park in Earlham House. We have to find somewhere miles aware and it’s not fair.”

Jon Jones, Earlham House Residents’ and Community Association chairman said it was important to recognise the affect the Earlham House parking changes was having on everyone in the area.

Mr Jones, who has recently moved out of Earlham House as a result of the changes, said: “We know what the end goal is - the new flats will put money into the economy but we want people to come together with a more caring reaction.”

Andrew Boswell, Nelson ward county councillor, said the latest parking restrictions had made the situation “a lot, lot worse”.

He said: “The businesses are so at risk. They might not just survive to the point where they can benefit from the new flats.”

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