RESIDENTS claim a supermarket is trying to turf them off its car park.
Some householders in Preston Road, Standish, have used the Lidl vehicle facilities because store staff in turn have been parking outside the terraced homes during the day to free up space for customers.
So locals were surprised by new signs posted by the company this week limiting car parking to a maximum of 90 minutes or drivers face being fined.
Now Standish Independent Ward councillor Gareth Fairhurst, who is backing the locals, is calling for the firm to reach a deal with families living near the store which could now see a residents-only scheme put forward to the highways department.
Coun Fairhurst said: “They may have put up light and bright signs telling people that only shoppers can park on the car park and even them for only 90 minutes.
“But as far as the residents are concerned it is Lidl which is the problem because it is their staff and customers parking on the surrounding streets that mean residents can’t park in front of or near to their homes. If a residents-only permit scheme is brought in it will stop Lidl staff and shoppers blocking their spaces and allow residents to park near their own homes.
“One of my original objections at the planning stage to Lidl coming here would be that there would not be enough spaces for the shop staff and customers and they would end up parking in front of the residents’ homes and I have been proved to be right.”
A spokeswoman for Lidl said that it was currently examining the possibility of granting access to its car park to residents living directly opposite during the “less busy” and non-trading hours.
She said: “We are disappointed that our neighbours feel let down by our decision to introduce a car park management system to the Standish store.
“Since opening in 2010, Lidl’s retial offering has proved very popular in the town but some customers have since expressed concerns over the difficulty in finding a parking space, particularly during the busier trading times in the afternoons and at weekends.
“After assurances to our customers that we would look at ways in which to improve this, it became apparent that a number of vehicles were using the car park for long periods throughout the day, without visiting the store.”
She said that this had now led Lidl to introduce parking restrictions for the car park so that shoppers can now visit the store “at their convenience”.
The spokeswoman added: “Due to the size of our stores, customers tend to be able to shop with us well within a maximum stay of one hour.
“Therefore we feel that 90 minutes of free parking is more than adequate.”