Row over parking at Binfield Primary School
December 30, 2009
A row has erupted in Binfield over the use of a private car park at a shopping parade by parents dropping their children at school.
The dispute is between the owner of the car park, Sorbon Investments, which briefly closed the car park at Oakmede Place on Monday, December 7, and the parents of children at Binfield CE Primary School in Benetfeld Road, who say there is nowhere else to park.
One mum, Emma Martin of Pitts Close, contacted The Bracknell Forest Standard to say the car park being closed led to her son, who has learning difficulties, walking to school by himself, which he found very upsetting.
But Sorbon, which owns half the car park along with the Binfield Club, says the shops have been suffering from people parking there for a number of years.
Mrs Martin said: “As a parent who has a child at the school and as a regular customer at the shops also, I was very disappointed that I was not allowed to park.
“I usually walk my child to school but had to drive that particular morning as I had a sick toddler.
“I also had the issue that I couldn’t find a safe parking space and thus my child who has learning difficulties had to complete the journey to school on his own, which we both found very upsetting.
“Whilst I can find a small amount of sympathy for the shop owners, I am outraged in how this has been managed and it has invoked an huge amount of disharmony between some parents and shop/lease holders.”
She added not being able to use the car park had caused serious parking problems and led to a minor accident outside the school.
However, Melanie Wills, estates manager for Sorbon Investments, said: “There has been an ongoing problem for many years in relation to people parking in the car park but not for the purpose of visiting the shops, office or the Binfield Club.
“This is clearly to the detriment of the shops and the club, as within certain periods of the day there is little or no parking available for legitimate customers and visitors.
“All legitimate visitors to the shops, offices and the Binfield Club continue to be welcome at all times.
“We would however urge all those who have been using the car park for other means to respect the ownership of the car park and find alterative parking in the locality.”
The company is also in a dispute with Bracknell Forest Council over alleged damage to the car park.
The council has bottle banks in the car park which the firm claims have caused damage to the car park and discussions are continuing as to whether to continue the arrangement.
However, the bottle banks are on the land owned by the Binfield Club, and the council is in discussions with members to see if they are in the right place.
Binfield Councillor Ian Leake said it was not the council’s responsibility to pay for repairs to private car parks.