Shop ‘is being harmed by permit scheme’

Robert Wilde, who owns Computer - Laptop Sales and Repair on North Seaton Road in Ashington.
Robert Wilde, who owns Computer - Laptop Sales and Repair on North Seaton Road in Ashington.

The owner of a business in Ashington has accused Northumberland County Council of making life difficult for him.

Robert Wilde runs Computer – Laptop Sales and Repair on North Seaton Road.

He said: “People used to be able to park round the back of the shop and that’s important because sometimes they would have heavy computer equipment to drop off.

“But the council introduced resident-only permits for the street where the back of the shop is a couple of years ago and that’s caused a problem for our customers.

“There are double yellow lines in front of the shop and when people have gone round the back because they have heavy equipment, the council gets called after only a minute.

“The only car park near the shop is a small one on the other side of the road. But people park there all day and if you do find a space but have something heavy, it’s still difficult to carry it across the road to the shop.

“If the council is insistent on having a permit system, why can’t businesses have a commercial permit for next to their premises as well as the permits for residents?

“Also, the litter looks bad at times outside the shop, but I’ve been told by a council employee that I can’t just pick it up and put it in a public litter bin because it is classed as commercial waste.

“It’s frustrating that I would have to pay the council to collect waste when most of it is not mine. If the council cleared this area regularly then there wouldn’t be a problem.”

A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: “Should a customer have a heavy item to drop off/collect then they can do this by leaving their vehicle at the front of the shop and loading/unloading from the double yellow line.

“Once this has been done, however, the customer must move their vehicle and park elsewhere.

“Resident permit schemes are introduced in order to protect resident parking. It would therefore not be appropriate to provide parking permits to businesses as this would reduce the availability of parking for residents and be in conflict with the benefits of introducing the resident parking scheme.

“Working in partnership with Ashington Town Council, Station Road is cleaned regularly throughout the day.

“If any shopkeepers wished to clean up any litter from the public highway or pavement outside of their premises, then this would be welcomed as it helps to maintain a high-quality clean environment and such material would not be classed as commercial waste.

“We would also encourage all shopkeepers to ensure that they make appropriate storage and collection arrangements for waste generated from their businesses that prevents their commercial waste from escaping and causing litter problems.

“An officer from the council’s neighbourhood services team will contact the gentleman who has raised the litter concerns to clarify the cleansing arrangements in place and outline the commercial waste services that the council can offer if required.”