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Anger after parking camera poles approved for Lawley car park

By Mat Growcott | Telford | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Shops and restaurants in Lawley are at risk of closure after plans that could lead to a parking camera on the area's main car park were approved, it has been warned.

Councillor Jayne Greenaway said Lawley Square had been built around parking at Morrisons, and that people would avoid the area once the cameras were installed.

Residents are planning a number of protests including a boycott of the supermarket chain in reaction to the decision by the planning inspectorate, which approved the plans more than a year after they were originally submitted to Telford & Wrekin Council.

Morrisons now has permission for the poles on which it will be able to install an automatic number plate recognition parking camera on the site, which will limit how long people will be able to stay in the area. The length of time it will be limited to has not yet been announced.

It is awaiting a decision on the signage needed for the camera.

Councillor Greenaway said: "It's going to have a detrimental impact on how people use these businesses.

"There are 80 staff members who work in Lawley Square who are going to be impacted. Without staff you're not going to have a business.

"If the businesses become vacant, nobody is going to even look at leasing them if there is no car park availability."

'There is no alternative'

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Councillor Greenaway, who represents the area on Telford & Wrekin Council, said Morrisons will also be hit hard by the changes.

"Lawley is different because you get someone who does a shop, goes to the Grazing Cow for something to eat then they might go and get their eyes tested or their hair cut," she said.

"We don't physically have space for another car park. The development is built out. There is no alternative.

"If they want to be part of this community, Morrisons don't need to do this. There's nothing else that we can do except plead to them."

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Telford & Wrekin Council's planning committee rejected the plans in November last year.

But the rejection was overturned by Planning Inspectorate inspector Michael Wood, who said consequences from putting up a parking camera should not be considered as part of the application.

"There has been a disagreement involving consequences from the erection of the ANPR camera," he wrote.

"The council are opposed to the use of the camera in restricting longer term parking in this location. I find that the controlled use of parking is an operational matter for the owners who are providing parking facilities on private land.

"It is not a matter to be determined by this appeal, which is limited to consideration of the erection of the camera."

A Morrisons spokeswoman said: “Customers have told us that they find it difficult to find a space in the car park during busy periods.

"In response, we proposed a new car park system which requires planning permission for camera poles and car park signage.

“Although the camera poles have been approved by the planning inspector, we still await a decision on the proposed signage before we can consider installing the cameras.

“In the meantime, we continue to listen to our customers and the community and will review their comments before any changes are made to the management of the Lawley Square car park.”

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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