COMMUNITY CENTRE WITH NO CAR PARK Antique and collectors fayre cancelled
SUNDAY’S planned antiques and collectors fair at the Phoenix centre was cancelled at short notice – victim of a Sainsbury’s clampdown on parking.
The fair is held in the Phoenix community centre which stands to the left of Sainsbury’s supermarket on the Norwood Heights development in Westow Street.
Paul Edeubie, secretary of the Phoenix community centre which has been staging the fairs for many years, told News From Crystal Palace: “In June the manager at Sainsbury’s said he was not going to recognise any local agreements.
“The understanding was that we could use the outside open air car park but not the indoor one. “We’ve always used the outside car park which we understood was Croydon’s car park, all public car parking.
(In October 2010 Sainsbury’s agreed to allow users of the Phoenix centre to stay in the car park as long as they needed to. Sainsbury’s introduced car parking attendants and £50 fines after realising their lease on the building also covered the outside car parking area and amid concerns over long term and overnight parking.
The antiques and collectors fairs are held between September and May. In July News From Crystal Palace reported that motorists staying for longer than three hours in the former public car park would face £70 fines.
Leaflets were handed out at the store which declared: “Parking at your store is about to get easier”. NFCP understands that Croydon sold the car park off in 2000 among 2,000 pieces of land borough-wide but we have still not been able to confirm this.)
“If they wanted to sell it that’s their right” says Mr Edeubie. “But they should be under some sort of obligation to consult those that were affected by the sale.
“As far as I know the people affected – and specifically the community centre – weren’t aware of any sale.
“If we were we could have perhaps looked at purchasing it together with local businesses. “The whole site was developed at the same time. “Part of the planning permission was to build a community centre which the developers did.
“It’s very unlikely they are going to build a community centre with no car park. “It’s natural to assume the outside car park was for the community centre to use – not exclusively.
“We used to give Sainsbury’s the numbers of vehicles so they would know the people in them were using the community centre. “But Sainsbury’s said: ‘Don’t do that any more’
“It’s affecting our income. “Who’s going to hire a hall for a wedding reception all day when there’s no parking.? “If you have a wedding you’ve got entertainers, caterers.”
The two parking spaces the centre has at the top of Coxwell Road are really just a loading bay, he added.
“For a building that serves the community, two spaces is far from sufficient.”
Of the fair being cancelled Mr Edeubie added: “People are very angry. “I’m almost hiding from people because of the venom. “Some people don’t even want to know why we’re not able to do the antiques and collectors fair.
“The reality is a lot of our stallholders come from very far and traditionally they have always parked in the open air car park. “It’s not as if Sainsbury’s don’t have any knowledge of this.”
Asked if there was any chance of the fairs being held in the future he said that without parking it was very unlikely.
“I know there’s some stallholders prepared to come but there would be about five. “Is it worth opening up? “Would the community centre be able to pay for it? “It’s possible.
“To those stallholders who want to carry on – please get in touch. “The more stallholders that want to continue with or without car parking, the easier it is for the centre to open up.”
News From Crystal Palace have approached Sainbsury’s head office for a reply but so far none has been received.
BACKGROUND TO THE NEWS
News From Crystal Palace July 14th 2014
SAINSBURY’S PARKERS FACE £70 FINES
MOTORISTS STAYING for longer than three hours at the Sainsbury’s car
park off Westow Street face fines of £70.
Drivers will also face fines of £70 if they:
park in a disabled bay without a valid blue badge
park in a parent and child bay without being accompanied by one or
more children up to the age of 12
do not park in marked bays
Sainsbury’s says the fines apply to both the outside and inside car parks.
A new sign has been installed which records the number plate of the
vehicle arriving and gives them a three-hour time stay.
Leaflets have been handed out at the store in Westow Street, Upper
Norwood SE19 which declare: “Parking at your store is about to get
A Sainsbury’s spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “We offer three
hours free parking and the system is designed to make parking easier
for all our customers. “Charges may apply if drivers overstay beyond
the three hours or, for example, park in disabled bays without a blue
“The automatic number plate recognition system covers both our surface
and multi-story car parks” he added.
Historically, the outer parking area was a council car park and has
been used as a public park since the development was completed. (The
site, prior to redevelopment in the early 1980s, included a much
larger council car park).
NFCP understands that Croydon sold this off in 2000 among 2,000 pieces
of land borough-wide but we have not yet been able to confirm this.