7:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014
By Natalie Glanvill
People living in a new Tesco development claim there is parking mayhem as too many permits have been issued for the number of spaces available.
Some Highams Green residents living behind the Tesco superstore in Highams Park say they are reluctant to drive their cars over fears they will lose their spot.
They claim an unlimited amount of parking permits approved by Waltham Forest council for a limited amount of bays has led to tensions in the community.
Drivers say their cars have been broken into, damaged or towed away when they are forced to leave them in side streets, such as Hickman Avenue.
Tesco was granted permission to build the superstore in 2009 if it made a financial contribution to the local community and provided affordable housing.
The first people moved into the 253-home development in 2012.
But resident Lorraine Bradley, 28, of Repton House in Jacks Farm Way, estimates there to be only 60 spaces available.
She said: "We're being charged for a permit but parking ten minutes walk away in a poorly-lit street and face having our cars damaged or towed."
Father-of-one Asif Yusuf said he "feels cheated and powerless" over the situation.
The 39-year-old moved in with his wife and son eighteen months ago, but says he would have thought twice about living there had he been aware of the problem.
He was forced to pay £275 to get his car back after it was towed from Hickman Avenue five weeks ago.
"We don't want to go out for the simple fact we can't park anywhere - it infuriates me," he said.
Ongar MP and secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, has recently called for more parking spaces at new housing developments to end the "vicious cycle of clogged up streets".
Waltham Forest council has been contacted for a comment.
For more on this story, see this week's Guardian - out Thursday
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