August 1 2014 Latest news:
by Harry Kemble, Reporter
Friday, June 27, 2014
Shop owners in Woodford Green say they could be forced to close because there is no space for customers to park their cars.
Independent businesses in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, including Hairy Hounds, Bridge Floor Limited and Hopscotch Children’s Trust are desperately seeking a solution to the congestion along shopping parade.
They claim Chigwell Motor Company is parking some of its cars behind their shops, along the main road and in side streets, which would otherwise be used by customers.
The car retailer says it is not at fault and the business is being blamed just because it sells vehicles.
Chigwell Motor Company applied for permission to store cars at its leased site behind 686 Chigwell Road in February, but its application was turned down by Redbridge Council in March.
An appeal was lodged and an enforcement notice was issued by the council.
Manager of Hopscotch Children’s Trust, Hannah Hatt, said: “It is making customer parking very difficult. Since the motor company has been there they have taken over the parade. It has been very detrimental for business.
“Cars are parked out the back, out the front and down the turnings. All the shop owners had a meeting and we decided to park our cars down the other end of the road so we could free up some spaces. It is having a terrible affect on business.”
There are no parking restrictions in place along the road, meaning anyone can park free of charge.
Hairy Hounds owner Joanne Lyon, said: “If it keeps on I do not think I will survive.
Motor company assistant manager Reece Khan, says the firm has a good relationship with residents and it has also helped clean the car park at the back.
“We only keep on site what we need to sell,” said Mr Khan. “We are being blamed because we sell cars.
“I do not know what is causing the congestion but we are more than happy to show people the CCTV to prove it is not us taking up parking spaces.”
He added that the firm does not need to park cars along the parade.
A Redbridge Council spokesman said it had not received any complaints from businesses or residents in the area.
“Both the decision to refuse the planning application and the enforcement notice have been appealed to the planning inspectorate and are awaiting decision,” he added.
“We are happy to investigate residents’ concerns and take action where necessary.”