With regard the letter from Mr K McDermott about the parking penalty imposed by Morrison’s. There are notices around the car park making it clear that Parking Eye will impose a penalty of £85 on anyone staying beyond three hours.
What is not quite so obvious is that Parking Eye applies this penalty with the permission of the landowner. See the fine print on the notices.
The question which is open to scrutiny is who is the landowner? Much of the land currently within the boundaries of the car park was compulsorily purchased and the local tax payers of Northumberland invested nearly £1.5m in this compulsory purchase order. It is my view that having deprived viable businesses of their premises, it would be morally reprehensible, if not downright illegal for the council to use compulsorily purchased land to turn a profit.
I have also spoken to the council who claim the land was not sold to Morrison’s. Morrison’s on the other hand claim ownership of the land. So who gave Parking Eye permission to impose such a charge?
Parking Eye will not divulge this information. Further enquiries from the council simply draw a blank refusal to be pressed on the matter.
If the council has sold the compulsorily purchased land along with the streets to Morrison’s, when did this sale take place and how much was raised for the local tax payers from the sale? Or even was the sale legal in the circumstances? If the land has not been sold how is it Morrison’s are claiming ownership?
If these questions are not answered publicly, and as local tax payers and voters we have the right to have answers, then the local authority, Morrison’s and Parking Eye can hardly complain if shoppers in Blyth take the view there is something devious and underhand going on.
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