Proposals have been submitted to restrict parking at a Lichfield supermarket to those spending £5 on shopping within the store.

The Tesco supermarket in Lichfield. Picture: Google Streetview

A planning application has been submitted for the installation of new ANPR cameras for the Tesco shop on Church Street.

A statement supporting the proposal says shoppers using the supermarket are unable to find spaces because people heading into the city centre are using the facility.

“Tesco are finding that their car park is coming under considerable pressure and is being used by non-Tesco customers.

“This is limiting the number of spaces available to shoppers, detracting from the attractiveness of the store as a main food shopping location, and in turn impacting on its trading performance.

“Tesco therefore propose to introduce new measures to control the car park whereby customers will be permitted to stay for up to three hours if they spend a minimum of £5 in store.”

Planning statement

The new parking system will see charges issues if drivers do not use the shop.

“Customers will be given a voucher at the till after their shop which can be scanned into one of the proposed automated ticket validation terminals within the car park.

“Those who do not validate their parking or stay longer than the three hours will be issued a penalty charge notice of £70, reduced to £42 if paid in 14 days.

“The first half hour stay will not however be charged to allow for short shopping trips or pick-up and drop-offs.”

Planning statement

If approved, the new parking system will see the installation of eight parking terminals and two new ANPR cameras.

Forty signs will also be installed to let drivers know about the new restrictions.

“The revised controls will ensure that there is a greater turnover of parking to create more freely available spaces for shoppers to visit both the store and shops located within the city centre.

“For example, a customer may undertake a half-hour shop at the Tesco store where they spend more than the £5, and remain with the car park for a further two and a half hours.

“We consider that the revised parking controls are sufficient to allow linked trips with other city centre uses, especially on the basis that its main purpose is to serve the Tesco store.”

Planning statement

Full details can be seen on Lichfield District Council’s planning website.

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32 Comments

  1. This would be a catastrophe for Lichfield. 30 mins free is utterly useless. Has anyone ever tired to get in and out of Tesco on a Sat in under 30 minutes? A good 10 minute is spent trying to get in and out of the car park itself.

    I’d like to know what conditions and covenants were included in the original planning permission when the site was originally upgraded. Surely there was provision for community parking?

    Finally, how do Tesco even know how many of those parked in its car park are customers? I frequently park there, walk into town and visit the store on my way back.

    How did Tesco accurately calculate that “x” % of car park user do not use the store? Genuinely curious….

  2. This is the situation in many London Manchester & Leeds area stores. Has been for more than 2 years. also with Morrisons in NW areas

  3. A result of the amenities policy of LDC? More and more houses… fewer and fewer everything else.
    There are other supermarkets in and around Lichfield. I am sure my loss of patronage, for a store whose standards have been deteriorating for some time, will account much more than their parking fee rip-off. Their competitors will be delighted at the news. And, yes some do use their parking facility to both shop and visit the quieter part of town so those shops will suffer too. Perhaps the council might consider that when deciding the broader consequences.

  4. The side roads and main Rd will get more congested
    The wesgate car park will be abused aldi carpark will become a traffic jam Tesco
    should stick with the original
    More ways to put tourists off.
    Helping lichfield SME
    Every little helps bla.

  5. It can be a nightmare sometimes, to even find a parking space and an even bigger one too get out. With Aldi using the same road. I don’t think it should matter whether you spend £5.00 or more. Yourselves or Aldi should have different entrances to get out.

  6. Another example of the howling gulf between a large organisation’s head office boasts about its corporate social responsibility, & the reality on the ground in a community. Surely, if you run a business adjacent to a city centre with a large car park, you should have some obligation to provide an element of public good, rather than just squeeze every last drop of cash out of your presence? I don’t for a minute believe that customers regularly cannot find space to park in a store which is open 24 hours 6 days a week.

  7. Parking charges at supermarkets is spreading. This time last year I picked up a ticket at Tesco, Weston Super Mare. Didn’t make me a happy shopper because I had forgotten to check out. Regardless of Covid we now do most of our shopping on the Internet at Sainsburys’ and actively avoid Tesco.

  8. Well, I’ve never seen a situation where I couldn’t park so would dispute that. Lichfield will suffer from yet another measure to undermine the community. We can now be checked by cameras and have to scan things? Great, that will help us all. Oh and we have a pandemic where we don’t want to force people into shops and restrict people getting exercise (to get them to spend money and handle things in a pandemic??) Just because others do it doesn’t make it socially responsible or good. If they do that, I won’t shop there again. Hopefully lots of people will feel the same.

  9. Ridiculous, you can queue for 15mins to get in, then queue again at the tills how can that be managed in 30mins. Will not be shopping there in future if this comes in.

  10. I wondered how long it would be before this would happen. I once used a Tesco store carpark because it commanded, like a fortress, a huge part of the town I was visiting. I had forgotten to ask at the till for an exit parking ticket so had to take my receipt to reception and ask for one. I obviously hadn’t spent enough inside store as I was unable to retrieve an exit ticket at the machine after inputting the code. I was forced to go back to the reception area where I was issued with another ticket that worked. Talk about humiliating. I thought never again.

  11. Barry M – Aldi is awesome, there own brand stuff is fantastic and their premium range is better than anyone else’s. We do nearly all our shopping there

  12. People suggesting it takes more than 30 mins to get in and out are missing the point. Parking will still be free if you spend £5 or more in the store. This will only inconvenience those who use the car park without shopping in the store. Why should you get free parking if you are not intending to shop there? 3 hours is plenty of time to shop in the store and then go into town for other items. My only query would be whether they have sorted the glitch where, if you make two visits, the later leave time is associated with your earlier arrival and you get a fine; this happens at other sites.

  13. I do not want to use any car park with ANPR and these parking companies. Their methods and tone when something is wrong are awful. The level of threat the use of out of all proportion. To forget to get your parking endorsed, or put in a wrong reg number and then have the deal with the threatening letters is not worth it.

    I would therefore avoid use of the car park due to the risk of an issue, and therefore would use other supermarkets, there is plenty of choice. It will create chaos for the Aldi car park.

    At the back of my mind something tells me that Tesco was only given permission for a store in Lichfield based on suitable provision of free parking. 30 minutes is not enough in my eyes to fulfil free parking requirement.

  14. I think it’s a good idea. Its always a nightmare finding a space on the weekend – most are just going into town. I’m guilty of it but often go into town first then go to tesco to do the shopping or to pop to the Costa. To be honest though, since switching to online shopping over a year ago I realised how much of my life I was wasting going shopping, queuing and driving around to find parking, wasting my life browsing in shops for really no point. Being subjected to road rage, the stresses of it all. Just not worth it. When it becomes safe I’ll continue to use online deliveries from Tesco. I can then spend more of my life with my family. Lets face it, if there’s anything learnt from this pandemic it’s that family are precious and life shouldn’t be taken for granted.

  15. I back tesco,the people moaning are the ones who use the free car park instead of parkung in a paid car park- however the problem isnt with tesco its with paid car parks. Make the first hour free then paid after tthat. That will encourage shoppers to use the town for quick visits like butchers,the market etc.

  16. @Ian – I also seem to remember a condition of the planning was that Tesco provided community/local parking.

    For the record, I have NEVER been unable to find a parking spot in Tesco. Never!

    This smacks of Tesco wanting to make money. If this isn’t a money making scheme, perhaps Tesco will donate all profits from the scheme to a lovely charity.

    No? Thought not.

  17. A few people on social media have also mentioned the memory of some agreement on free parking as well. As a result, we’ve gone back to the planning documentation related to the building of the current store (not the original Tesco – those documents are not available online).

    Having dug through them, nothing appears to show any agreement on spaces for general parking when the old Tesco and Focus DIY site were replaced. In fact, the decision to approve notice issued by the council in relation to the new store states that active management of these spaces for the use of the supermarket can take place:

    “Prior to the first use of the retail store and its associated car parking areas by customers, a car park management regime for the retail store’s car park shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. This management regime shall include methods to control the time limit for free parking within the store’s car park.”

    Given it was an application at a time when docs had to be scanned in, many of the scans are a bit all over the place and we can’t verify that every last detail is there, but it doesn’t seem immediately obvious that any agreement on utilisation of spaces for non-supermarket traffic was agreed. It may be that a subsequent agreement was reached, but it certainly doesn’t appear on the planning records that we’ve seen so far. Even if it appeared in the original store building plan, it would likely be superseded by this later planning agreement.

  18. Well done Tesco, about time you did something, when I go to do my shopping and drive round your carpark and find a space, go to park in it, then someone has already parked in it, then instead that person going to do there shopping at tesco they bugger off into town where there is 2 or 3 council car parks that could be used. Oh I forgot they have to pay for parking at the council parking spaces. This idea works at Walsall Extra, bring it to lichfeild and give your loyal customers less time finding a parking space and more time spending money in a business I support. Also if it works the same as Walsall Extra anyone that spends a minimum of £5 instore at tesco will get a free parking voucher so you don’t have to pay for parking anyway. Win win for any loyal tesco customers. Bring it in ASAP Tesco.

  19. The real problem here is the car parks that have been stripped out by ldc. There was a huge car park occupied now by a hotel, its anti retail and short sighted. It doesn’t surprise me this decision by tesco but the actual fault can be traced back to ldc.

    Unfortunately it may be to late, to save the city centre because of greed and high prices on parking.

  20. And the fat cats get fatter
    What has happened to these big stores?
    As if there not making enough money during these horrendous times as for Lichfield with so many shops closing
    There will not be a need to go there
    So Tesco you should be welcoming customers not psyching them away

  21. B Turvey you make a very good point. Advances in technology have seen an increase in online shopping which is likely to mean a decline in the use of car parks in any event. (No doubt it will mean more land for housing as the council seem to have a one track mind in this regard). Less car parking is not a bad thing all told. To explain being one of the older generation it is rare that I need to do a big shop anyway which is why I only usually need to buy a few items at any given time. And when I use a store car park I alway shop in that same store. Funnily enough I always used Tesco after moving back to Lichfield that is until the start of the pandemic in March last year when we were only allowed to purchase 3 items at most of the same product. Having a very old cat who is only able to eat pate food I needed to buy single trays of cat food which isn’t available in cans or packets of 12 although other customers were able to buy 3 packets of 12 =36 of the other types. At Tesco I was only allowed to buy 3 single trays which would only last for one and a half days. I thought this unreasonable given the public was being told to stay indoors and it meant I would need to do 4 trips to the store weekly against government guidelines. I therefore started to use other stores that were more understanding and accommodating. Ever since then I have stayed loyal to those stores. Now I am able to buy the same pate cat food online. I buy it in bulk at half the price. Furthermore one less car on the road, less road upkeep (less tax?) less fuel, less toxic fumes, less car park use.

  22. At last Tesco are putting their customers first! I have complained several times about non-customers blocking car parking spaces causing inconvenience to genuine customers. One potential flaw, the ANPR cameras need to be sited so that Aldi customers do not get caught driving on the access road between Tesco Petrol Stn and Tesco Store

  23. Wasn’t the free short term parking a stipulation in the original planning application by Tescos? And that is the only reason that short term parking for non customers is still allowed.

  24. I park there free to go to the Drs because Westgate doesn’t have enough spaces, and this leaves the limited no of spaces at Westgate for those less able than me. I can’t guarantee that a sit in the Drs and the appointment will take less than 30 minutes, so I W ill be stuck with making purchases I don’t want in order to park in a reasonable walking distance of Drs. Thanks for nothing Tesco.

  25. I can help Ross – and others. Planning permisison did not inlcude any “community parking”. When it opened you had to get a ticket at the barrier but the barier kept being broken (vandalised) and Tesco gave up. I did not know how popular it was for free parking for other shops (see my point) until a couple of years ago as I only ever used it for shopping there.

    I hope the ANPR is set up correctly and not as it was at Sankeys Corner in Burntwood where people were getting tickets for parking there for 4 hours or much longer when, in fact, they were only there long enough to get their fish and chips. I got help for residents from the British Parking Association as the operators were not following the guidelines correctly.

    If Tesco are losing custom because of lack of spaces (see the above comments) – as were retailers at Sankeys Corner by people parking there but then catching a bus to Lichfield or Walsall – you have to understand their position.

  26. At the bottom of the Tesco Carpark are a series of recycling bins will it be necessary to go into Tesco and spend £5 to use the recycling bins

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