The Local Planning Authority wrote to the Land owner back in March 2014 and nothing happened. The actual occupier is CDS (Superstores International) Limited trading as The Range. The planners then wrote to ParkingEye in August asking for a formal application for consent. Parking Eye showed their contempt for the law by just ignoring the request. Finally they wrote again in November 2014 spelling out their criminal conduct in no uncertain terms and threatening a prosecution.
Please be aware that anyone who displays an advertisement or knowingly permits someone else to do so, without the consent required, is acting illegally. It is then immediately open to the planning authority to bring prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court for an offence under section 224 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990.It is trite law that if a crime has to be committed to create a contract then that contract is illegal and unenforceable. To create the contract they had to have the signage. Thus all parking contracts that ParkingEye have alleged they have had over the past two years have been unenforceable.
Under the contract between ParkingEye and The Range clause 3.5 indicates that it was the responsibility of The Range to obtain the necessary consent. Regardless, a prudent business should have checked that the consents were in place before they started to operate.
ParkingEye/The Range have known, from the planners, about this issue for 10 months during which it has continued to issue parking charge notices to motorists with whom it has entered into illegal contracts. There may be an issue here around fraud.
ParkingEye's standard contract (clause 3.11) shows they collect charges for breach of contract on behalf of the landowner. If this is in force with The Range then Chris Dawson's store will have trousered a lot of cash from parking charges illegally from his own customers in the last few years. The ParkingEye v Somerfield case established that each parking space is worth 0.4 parking charges per week. At £100 a charge, that is £4,000 a week per 100 spaces, and £208,000 a year.
The Prankster suggests that any motorist who paid a parking charge for The Range in Barrow in Furness applies to both ParkingEye and The Range to get their money back. This may also apply to motorists who have had court judgments against them. In this case the Tort of Deceit may apply which could mean the motorist can bring a fresh case. Motorists interested in this should take legal advice first.
The Parking Prankster