COUNCIL officers have recommended approving Tesco Rotherham’s request to axe a rule giving all visitors two hours’ free parking.
The Drummond Street supermarket wants to alter the condition so motorists parking for more than 30 minutes must spend £5 and can then stay for three hours.
Tesco said the proposal was in response to customer complaints about congestion in the car park.
RiDO, Rotherham Borough Council’s regeneration arm, has warned of the “high risk” of negative impact on footfall if the change goes ahead.
Six residents have also objected, saying finding a parking space is never an issue and the change will drive more shoppers to free parking at Parkgate Shopping or Meadowhall.
But the council’s planning department has recommended that planning board members agree the switch at Thursday’s meeting.
Its report said: “The issues raised by residents and the council’s RiDO department are noted, but the reason for the original condition was to limit free parking and to encourage the use of sustainable transport.
“The purpose of the condition was not to give Tesco the responsibility for town centre parking as the main purpose of the car park is to serve the Tesco store.
“It is considered that on balance the amended condition is not contrary to the spirit of the original condition and the revised parking controls are considered sufficient to allow linked trips with other town centre uses.”
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