A SUPERMARKET has announced it will slash free parking from two hours to 30 minutes - without getting planning permission.
Tesco Extra in Rotherham town centre said customers parking for over half an hour would need to spend at least £5 in the store.
But two hours’ free parking - for customers and non-customers - was included as a condition when the plans were passed in 2012.
The planned change from February 28 is in response to customer complaints about congestion in the car park, Tesco has said.
Store manager Michael Cooke added: “We’ve received lots of feedback from customers in store that they’re growing frustrated by the lack of available parking spaces.
“The system will be really easy to use, generating a unique code for customers on their shopping receipts.
“As long as they meet the minimum spend of £5 in store, customers will be able to park for up to three hours.”
The new system will use technology which recognises vehicle number plates and machines which scan shopping receipts.
It is being introduced at 14 stores where the firm says congestion is a problem, a spokesman said.
Paul Woodcock, Rotherham Borough Council’s assistant planning director, said: “If Tesco wishes to amend the condition, they will need to submit an application.
“The council will then consider the merits of the proposal in light of the reason the condition was originally imposed.
“We have contacted Tesco and explained the process.”
Last month, Aldi removed a banner warning non-shoppers not to park at its new Bramley store because it breached planning conditions.
UPDATE - Tesco submits bid to change parking policy at Rotherham store
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.