Supermarket rapped for being snap happy

Aldi in Leyland
Aldi in Leyland

A Leyland supermarket is using car park cameras without planning permission – and is also breaking an agreement with residents in the area.

The Aldi store on Westgate has installed number plate recognition cameras to catch out anyone parking there for more than 90 minutes.

However, the firm doesn’t have planning permission from South Ribble Council for the cameras, and by installing them, the company is also breaching an informal agreement made with residents when the shop first opened.

When Aldi applied for planning permission in 2004, there was a ‘gesture of good will’ offered to local residents living on Westgate saying they could use Aldi’s car park.

This was because Aldi wanted double yellow lines around the site to improve access for its delivery vehicles, which prevented residents parking outside their homes.

The supermarket says it can’t find any evidence of such an agreement, but has pressed forward with submitting a retrospective planning application for the cameras.

A spokesman said: “As with many stores, we employ a car park management system at our Leyland store to ensure free parking is available for our customers.

“This system is managed by Parking Eye and involves using cameras to monitor cars parked at the store.

“A planning application is currently being submitted to cover the use of cameras.”

South Ribble Council’s planning manager Helen Hockenhull said the idea to introduce the cameras ‘forms a management issue for Aldi and is not in breach of any planning controls’, as it was a local agreement and not part of planning conditions.