Little Gaddesden villagers criticise erection of 'intrusive' parking signs and cameras in pub car park

Dacorum Borough Council is investigating whether there has been a breach of planning or advertisement regulations

By Holly Patel
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 10:19 am

Villagers in Little Gaddesden have criticised intrusive parking signs, lighting and cameras that have been erected in a pub car park.

And Dacorum Borough Council is investigating whether there has been a breach of planning or advertisement regulations.

However, Greene King says it has tried to create "as little as possible" impact with the scheme, and added that it has followed the required processes.

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Car parking signs at the pub in Little Gaddesden

The parking enforcement at Bridgewater Arms car park is being run by Britannia Parking on behalf of Greene King.

Mrs Woods, who lives in Little Gaddesden, said: "I believe Greene King and the landlord of the Bridgewater Arms were tired of dog walkers, cyclists and hikers parking in their car park and not frequenting the pub. Understandable.

"The problem is the car park is in the conservation area of the village and the views to the Grade II listed pub and the Grade II listed cottages of 15,16 and 17 Little Gaddesden are now blighted by this eyesore. The signposts, lighting and cameras are too high, unsympathetically ugly, and will impact the neighbouring houses."

She added that there were eight signposts for 27 parking spaces - and said the cameras overlook one of the cottages.

Car parking signs at the pub in Little Gaddesden

She said: "In the past villagers parked in the mornings to go to the Village Stores and Post Office (generally outside pub hours) to avoid parking on the dangerous bend before the shop.

"The car park was also used as a safe drop-off point for parents to the village school too and now there will be severe congestion and risk of collisions at the end of Church Lane as a result."

Hertfordshire County Councillor Terry Douris has written to Dacorum Borough Council after being alerted to the issue by local residents.

And he said a similar situation has occurred at a pub in Hemel Hempstead - which is also a Greene King pub.

Dacorum Borough Council is investigating whether there has been a breach of regulations, and has contacted Greene King to check whether similar signs and cameras are going to be erected at their other pubs in the Borough and to advise them accordingly.

The council expects to update all parties within the next two weeks.

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Parish Chairman Paul Kelly also expressed his frustrations.

He said: "As well as the points that have already been raised there are a few other things that need to be addressed. It is annoying that there was no discussion with the Parish or residents.

"We used to have an agreement with the pub that parents would park in the car park and walk their children to school, but I do understand that landlords change and this agreement may not have been passed on, but there should have been better communication from Greene King.

"A lot of people used the car park from all over Hertfordshire, including lots of cyclists and dog walkers. The pub was closed throughout the furlough scheme and people got used to using the car park. People who use the pub also used to leave their cars there overnight if they had too much to drink, what will happen now?

"The amount of signs is excessive, I think there are about eight, it is quite funny really and over the top."

He said he was planning to contact the chief executive of Greene King to invite him to a Parish meeting to discuss the issue with residents.

A Greene King spokesperson said: “We have tried to impact the community as little as possible with this scheme and have followed the required processes for parking installations.

"We’ve introduced this measure so there are spaces available for customers to park and it’s important we use clear signposting for people.

"Customers can register their vehicle number plate when they enter the pub and will not have to pay for parking.”

They added that if a customer wants to leave a car in the pub car park overnight they can let staff know.