Garage owner denies running residential area 'like a scrapyard'

Jon Minns Aylsham

Jon Minns, 65, of Cawston Road in Aylsham, has said that cars associated with a local garage have been parked on the street for weeks on end. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

A residential area in Aylsham is being 'run like a scrapyard', according to locals, but a garage owner claims he has been made the area's 'parking scapegoat'.

The dispute centres on the junction of Cawston Road and Mill Road, where residents have complained that cars associated with JLH Autos end up left on the roads for weeks or longer.

Jon Minns, 65, who lives next to the garage, said: "Each day we have 18 to 20 cars parked on Cawston Road and Mill Road. The junction gets blocked."

Jon Minns Aylsham

Jon Minns, 65, has said that a black Vauxhall without an MOT has been parked outside his house on Cawston Road in Aylsham for a year. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

A black Vauxhall without an MOT has been parked outside his house for a year, he said.

"Anyone who comes to see us can’t park outside. And most of the cars are out there for weeks on end," he added.

Jeremy Harrison, owner of JLH Autos, has dismissed the complaints, saying: "Although I contribute to parking on the highway, they’re not all my cars.

"I will always be the Cawston Road and Mill Road parking scapegoat."

A spokesperson for Broadland District Council said complaints have been made to the local authority regarding cars parked on the highway but that no offence arises if the vehicles are taxed, insured and not parked in a dangerous manner.

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Chris Alston, highways area manager, said: “We understand that local residents may have concerns about on street parking in the area.

Cawston Road and Mill Road Aylsham

The junction of Cawston Road and Mill Road in Aylsham, where a garage owner says he has been made the local 'parking scapegoat'. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

"Unfortunately, on street parking space - particularly where there are residential and business premises - can be at a premium.

"This is prevalent throughout the county, particularly in market towns like Aylsham.

“We’re not aware of any issues with illegal parking at this location," he added.

But residents continue to plead their case.

Rodney Adams Aylsham

Rodney Adams, 74, of Mill Road in Aylsham, has said that car leaking oil and others with flat tyres have been parked on the road outside his house. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Rodney Adams, 74, of Mill Road, said: "I've lived here for 47 years but it's only in the last five years it's become horrendous.

"Some of the cars leak oil onto the road. Others have flat tyres."

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "This is a residential area in the old part of town but it's being run like a scrapyard.

"And nobody does anything," he added.

Double yellow lines?

The issue has also been raised at Aylsham Town Council.  

On March 2, Councillor Barry Lancaster told a meeting that many people he spoke to did not feel the council had taken the matter seriously and that some residents did not feel safe driving in the area.  

The council then decided the only action they could take would be the possible installation of yellow lines or parking permits, but both would be costly and have drawbacks. 

Sue Lake, Aylsham town clerk.

Sue Lake, Aylsham town clerk. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

Sue Lake, town council clerk, has said that Town Hall is investigating double yellow lines and parking permits.  

Mr Harrison said he would have no issue in principle with double yellow lines. 

"But you have to do the whole road and not just single me out," he added. 

According to Mr Alston, the provision of waiting restrictions "could further limit parking for everyone locally".