PARKING restrictions at a new retail development in Swadlincote could deter people from using its facilities, a town resident has claimed.
The developer behind The Pipeworks has introduced a four-hour parking limit, with no return within three hours, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
But Rokeby Developments says the restrictions are needed as motorists are using the car park for free all-day parking — taking up spaces intended for shoppers.
Gerald Sargent, who lives in nearby Coppice Side, said the changes were contrary to Swadlincote’s much-vaunted asset of free and unlimited parking for all.
He said: “Two years ago it was said that the good thing about Swad was that shoppers could park for free for as long as they want, but it seems that it’s gone right to the other side of the spectrum.
“I went up there last week and they are limiting you to four hours — and if you go over that by even two or three minutes you can get fined.
“If people maybe want to go to the Tall Chimney pub for a meal and then perhaps go to the Odeon cinema to see a film, they could easily go over four hours.
“I think it’s terrible and it kills off the whole ethos of what the centre is supposed to be about.”
However, Rokeby director Adrian Goodall said the move was necessary to ensure genuine shoppers could find a space.
He told the Mail: “We put the four-hour restriction on because the car park is getting quite congested, particularly with Christmas trading coming up.
“We’ve established there are a number of people parking there all day — to the detriment of people who want to use the facilities to enjoy a couple of hours’ shopping.
“They can’t get access to the car park.
“It’s unfair for a small group of people to monopolise the car park and prevent access to other people who want to go there to shop or use the cinema.
“We will review this and see how it works, but the idea is that we are making the car park more accessible to users of The Pipeworks.”