Camera confusion at flagship Booths

A second superstore has been forced to seek permission for cameras being used to enforce parking restrictions.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 10:14 am
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 11:15 am
The Booths store at the Teanlowe Centre

The Gazette revealed last week that Aldi in Cleveleys had been operating a number plate recognition camera (ANPR) on its Cleveleys site for five years without planning consent.

Calls have been made for fines issued by car park management firm Parking Eye during that time to be paid back, something Aldi insists does not have to happen.

Now upmarket chain Booths has approached Wyre Council over cameras already in position at the Teanlowe Centre in Poulton.

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Unlike the Aldi store in Cleveleys, the Booths car park at Poulton is open to customers of other stores and the first three hours are free. Booths, rather than an outside contractor, manages the car park.

Anyone going over the three hour limit can be issued with a penalty notice, with ANPR used to keep track of vehicles.

The issue at Poulton was spotted by Thornton man Mike Pollard, who also flagged up Aldi’s planning breach.

He said: “We discovered the issue at Cleveleys and thought we would look into other sites as well.

“It turned out the cameras at the Teanlowe Centre in Poulton were also put up without planning permission.”

Booths switched to the ANPR system when it moved into the Teanlowe Centre last year.

The firm said it was working quickly to ensure its Poulton car park complied with planning law and said it was supporting local causes with money raised.

A spokesman said: “Booths has submitted a retrospective application for ANPR cameras on the Teanlowe Car Park in Poulton, to ensure compliance with planning legislation.

“While the redevelopment of the centre and the reconfiguration of the car park had been approved for CCTV cameras, their physical layout within the car park had not yet been agreed. The retrospective application will ensure the CCTV cameras are granted full planning permission.

“Booths offer generous free parking for up to three hours in Poulton town centre and as this car park is very busy during the day, it is important that steps are made to prevent unfair use. The staff at Booths Poulton will be supporting two local charities annually that will benefit not only from the fines received, but will be supported by instore fundraisers and events throughout the year.

“The charity selected by staff at Booths is Donna’s Dreamhouse.”

The site of the chain’s former premises in Poulton, on Ball Street, has been taken on by Aldi.

The German firm has submitted proposals to enlarge the car park and wants to use ANPR cameras managed by Parking Eye.

It’s a move which has not been welcomed by Mr Pollard.

He said: “Wyre Council had previously managed the 
car park perfectly well for Booths,

“Why do Aldi now choose to force their customers to enter into civil contracts, the Terms and Conditions of which require a pair of step ladders and a magnifying glass to read on the signs”?