A supermarket has been fined by magistrates for charging customers to park in breach of planning laws.
The Aldi store in Carlton Terrace, Portslade, was fined £600 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200 at Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday 16 May).
When the store was granted planning permission it was on condition that shoppers could park there for free and five parking spaces be set aside for people living above the store.
It has since asked Brighton and Hove City Council to ease the conditions but its request was turned down.
The reason for requiring three hours of free parking was to support the wider shopping district on the Hove and Portslade border.
Aldi was found to be charging visitors after one hour of free parking.
Planning enforcement officers from the council have been trying to ensure that the store complies with planning conditions since March last year.
They served a formal notice on Aldi in February but this was also ignored, magistrates were told.
Martin Randall, the council’s head of planning and public protection, said: “The condition to provide free parking is designed to benefit residents and local shops, including Aldi.
“We are disappointed that our requests to comply with this was ignored and we were left with no alternative but to take legal action.”
The council said that development included 14 flats, hence the requirement to provide five spaces for residents.
Aldi has now submitted another application to cut the requirement to provide free parking from three hours to two.
It is also arguing again that it should not make any parking spaces available for residents.