TOWN Hall planning chiefs at Warrington are investigating a new pay-and-display car park which has opened in the town centre – apparently without the benefit of planning permission.
The car park, off Sankey Street, is on the site of the former Warrington Baptist Church which was demolished four years ago when planning consent was given for 18 assisted living apartments.
There was no application for a public car park – nor was any given at that time.
A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of a new car park operating at this site. There is an investigation taking place so we are unable to comment any further at this time.”
The car park is surfaced in tarmac, well marked out and is operated by SIP (Simple Intelligent Parking) Car Parks. It has been operating for some time – and seems to be doing a brisk trade, despite another car park which has been operating only yards away for several years.
A motorist who used the car park asked, when told he was using a car park that didn’t have planning consent:
“Does that mean I don’t have to pay if I am issued with a penalty notice?”
It is not an offence to carry out development in advance of applying for planning permission as an application can be made retrospectively – but the applicant runs the risk of enforcement action if the retrospective application is refused.
Warrington-Worldwide telephoned SIP Car Parks at their offices in Manchester and was told press enquiries had to be submitted by email. We emailed and received an automated acknowledgement that our message had been received.
But we have received no response to our enquiry.