‘I came back from shopping and saw a sign for a private parking space outside my building’

Homeowners claim a parking company is trying to get people to park on their property.

UK Car Park Management was criticized after it placed half a dozen signs in a private car park and failed to remove them quickly.

Private parking signs have been erroneously placed behind properties on Northumberland Road, Maidstone.  Photo: Sean McPolinPrivate parking signs have been erroneously placed behind properties on Northumberland Road, Maidstone.  Photo: Sean McPolin
Private parking signs have been erroneously placed behind properties on Northumberland Road, Maidstone. Photo: Sean McPolin

Four houses just off Northumberland Road in Maidstone, close to Maplewood Court care home, each have two parking spaces just behind their properties and were shocked last week when the parking company put up signs saying they could park there with a permit.

The signs, which were removed a week later after KentOnline contacted, told motorists that if they do park in the spaces they risk a £100 fine.

They are stressed and anxious about the signs and worry that their spaces will be filled with care home visitors or people who live a stone’s throw from a Golding Homes location.

Penny Jackson, 73, was at home when she saw a man putting up signs and went outside to challenge him.

The retired grandmother, who is disabled and needs to be able to get a walker from her car, said: “It’s busy here, especially when they visit the retirement home.

Homeowner Penny Jackson confronted the man who put up the signs and told him to take them down.  Photo: Sean McPolinHomeowner Penny Jackson confronted the man who put up the signs and told him to take them down.  Photo: Sean McPolin
Homeowner Penny Jackson confronted the man who put up the signs and told him to take them down. Photo: Sean McPolin
Retired grandmother Penny, 73, contacted the company several times last Friday but did not hear back.  Photo: Sean McPolinRetired grandmother Penny, 73, contacted the company several times last Friday but did not hear back.  Photo: Sean McPolin
Retired grandmother Penny, 73, contacted the company several times last Friday but did not hear back. Photo: Sean McPolin

“Friday morning I went out to pick up some groceries down the street and when I came back he was there putting up the signs. He was on his fourth sign. He hadn’t put it on the lamppost yet.

“I went over and asked what he was doing and all he said was that he was told to put up the signs even when I told him he was in the wrong place and on private property. He just told me to discuss it with the parking company.

“It took me five times to call them and I spoke to someone who said they understood my frustration and not to get up. I told her I was going to remove them, but she said not to because they would get damaged.”

A week later, Penny had heard nothing from the company, but a neighbor was told that UK Car Park Management was ‘investigating’ what had happened.

“One of the neighbors was completely freaked out by it,” she added. “She didn’t believe her husband that they owned the land and were doing nothing wrong.

‘I have now sent them further emails telling them they must pay compensation for the stress they have caused and the damage they have caused.

“Parking is bad enough when people come along the road and park at the front. When my kids come over to see me, they have trouble parking. So if visitors have a permit, they think they can come here and think it’s an overcrowded parking lot.

“On Friday, like my neighbor, I spent a whole day trying to get hold of them to sort it out.”

One of Penny’s neighbors had returned from vacation the day after the signs were posted and attempted to remove them the next day.

She added: “I was absolutely shocked to find that what are essentially our private driveways have been turned into a car park.

“It was very stressful, both on the phone and off the phone, sending emails and getting nowhere to make sure no one parks there.”

Golding Homes spokesperson Genette Pinwill, deputy director of tenancy and housing change, said: “The parking signs near Northumberland Road were erected by mistake by our parking management company CPM.

“We spoke to CPM who were out on Friday afternoon visiting our customers and removed all the signs. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused customers.”

UK Car Park Management has been contacted for comment.

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