Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Residents slam Basingstoke Barratt Homes 'draconian' parking fines

Chapel Gate
Image caption A system of residents' and visitors' permits is in place at Chapel Gate

Parking enforcement on a new housing development has been branded "draconian" by residents.

Fines of up to £100 were introduced for breaches of rules for residents' parking spaces in the Chapel Gate development in Basingstoke.

Complaining residents include a pregnant woman who was fined despite urgently needing to use the toilet.

Developer Barratt Homes has apologised and said it would appoint a new enforcement company.

Resident Amy Potter said the rules had initially been welcomed as a means of discouraging non-residents from parking to use the nearby station and shops.

She and her partner have since received four tickets, followed by threats of court action.

"People who live here and come to visit are the ones that are getting ticketed so it's very frustrating," she said.

"You feel like you don't want to invite people to come as they either have to park miles away or risk getting a parking ticket which increases if they don't pay it."

Image copyright Amy Potter
Image caption Homeowner Amy Potter has received four fines

Local councillor Carolyn Woolridge said she had received "numerous" complaints about the enforcement of residents' and visitors' permits.

They included a pregnant woman who told an enforcement officer she urgently had to use the toilet in her home after parking slightly over a line, but returned five minutes later to find she had been issued with a ticket.

Another resident said her hairdresser was issued with a fine in the minute it took to go back into her client's house to return the visitor's parking permit.

Ms Woolridge said it was "totally unfair and totally unexpected".

"The main thing is the draconian approach taken to residents - they don't seem to be here to protect residents' spaces, they seem to be lying in wait to look for any slight infringement to pounce on for a money-making exercise."

Barratt Homes said it was "not happy" with how the enforcement was carried out and would "void tickets for residents where they have been wrongly issued".

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