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Supermarket within planning agreement to introduce new parking charges

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From Monday 28th May Sainsbury's will be introducing a new smart card payment system in their Chiswick car park meaning that up to two hours parking will be free of charge but only for customers who spend £5 or more in the store.

There will be a £50 penalty for people who don't abide by the new rules which include parking in disabled bays without a valid blue badge and not parking in marked bays.

Sainsbury's contacted to the planning department of Hounslow Council in February 2007 outlining their new proposals that mean that after two hours, the charge for parking becomes exceptionally high to prevent commuters.

The s52 agreement for the car park was checked and the council concluded that the supermarket's proposals were in line with the agreement. The proposals were also checked by officers from the Council’s Traffic and Road Safety section, who had no objection to the principle.

A spokesperson for LBH said "We advised Sainsbury's that their proposals submitted in February did not breach the planning agreement."

The Planning legal agreement signed when the store was built has some clauses on the issue of a car park which include:

To provide a short term shoppers car park on such terms as to use operation and payment by the shopping public as may be previously agreed with the Council before the development opens for trading and notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing to provide:

(i) That the use of the car park shall be available for up to a maximum of two hours only to all members of the shopping public on similar terms to those subsisting in other Council car parks in shopping centres in the Borough of Hounslow

(ii) that the terms of such operation use and payment shall be applied so as not to encourage commuter parking

PROVIDED ALWAYS that J Sainsbury shall at its absolute discretion be entitled to charge or not to charge customers of the Development

Regarding the parents who use the car park in order to drop their children off at Belmont School, the spokesperson said "In terms of Safer Routes to School and green travel planning, we would encourage parents to (a) use alternative (and green!) transport instead of driving on the school run, or (b) park safely and legally, be it in the Sainsbury's car park or elsewhere and walk to the school to collect/drop off their children.

May 18, 2007