'Enormous issue' - Parking woes continue at city shopping centre

People continue to experience issues with parking at Earlham House in Norwich according to city councillor Denise Carlo

People continue to experience issues with parking at Earlham House in Norwich according to city councillor Denise Carlo, pictured inset - Credit: Archant

Concerns continue to be raised over car parking enforcement companies "exploiting a lack of regulation" over parking on private land in the city. 

Earlham House in Norwich has proved contentious for motorists since 2013 with many being embroiled in battles over parking charge notices after stopping at the Earlham Road site.

Basingstoke-based company Bellgold owned the freehold of Earlham House but sold it a few years ago.

However, the civil engineering company retained the services of private parking firm National Parking Enforcement who has since issued parking charge notices to Norwich folk. 

City councillor Denise Carlo, who represents the Nelson ward, described the situation as "an enormous issue". 

Councillor Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Councillor Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

She said: "National Parking Enforcement's big money spinner is their condition that parking must be within the bay. This has enabled them to issue parking charge notices to drivers who might park one tyre on a white line.     

"Unfortunately, parking enforcement companies are exploiting the lack of regulation over parking on private land. They can issue their own rules and as long as they display signage displaying those rules, they enforce them in a grossly unfair way.

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"The Parking (Code of Practice) Act will bring in new standards and create a single independent appeals body, but the government has yet to issue a code which all private parking operators will have to abide by."

National Parking Enforcement took Amanda Hopkinson, of Earlham Road, to Norwich County Court in August 2020 after she refused to pay a £100 charge for stopping at Earlham House.

Earlham House Shopping Centre in Norwich where Sam Moore got a penalty notice after parking in an ad

Earlham House shopping centre - Credit: Danielle Booden

But Judge Nicholas Reeves dismissed the claim against professor Hopkinson after it emerged that its solicitors, Gladstones, had filed the evidence against her too late.

Maksim Kachovic, of Jex Lane, also received a £100 parking charge letter in February 2021 after briefly stopping to drop off a parcel at the East of England Co-Op Daily convenience store post office.

Julie Lecaille, director of National Parking Enforcement, has been contacted for comment.

She previously told Norwich County Court the signage at Earlham House is "clearly visible" and the information on the signage "informs the driver of the parking conditions at the location". 

Earlham House shopping centre. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Earlham House shopping centre. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

A spokeswoman for Bellgold said the company would not be commenting on the matter.