On Monday I was made aware by concerned residents of No Parking notices and penalty charging notices by a private enforcement company having been erected in the location of a car park on the Bulwark Estate, Helston. These sign was erected by Sanctuary Housing who are one of the main social housing landlords in this area.
Parking in this area is a known issue. This is because when the estate was originally built as military married quarters there was limited car ownership and therefore only minimal off-road parking was made available. In fact, on-street parking is rather limited too, especially with increased car ownership.
So why did the housing association think erecting signs like this would be a good idea? After all, the estate is a mixture of private and social rental, and home ownership. This car park is used by all residents, including visitors to the estate. To be fair the housing association did consult with its own tenants pre-Christmas, but did not engage with the wider estate to see how those residents would feel. This is a huge oversight as this car park is used by all on the estate.
The question is do Sanctuary Housing have the powers to do this? The answer is no they do not. The reason why they cannot stop anyone without a permit is because this car park is part of the maintained highway. Therefore signs and enforcement notices like this cannot be erected. This has been confirmed by Cornwall Council’s Highway Dept. who acted swiftly to confirm the legality of the car park.
I will be writing to Sanctuary Housing as will Cornwall Council informing them to remove the signs. Furthermore, I am concerned that if any fines have been issued, these are likely to be illegally issued and should be cancelled. If anyone has been issued with a fine from this car park, please get in touch with me.