A LANDOWNER has threatened to block residents’ cars in and charge them to have them released.

Quadron Investments Limited left notices on parked cars in an area of land at the bottom of Halliday Close, Cranbourne, warning it would be “enclosing” the area within seven days.

It said any vehicles left there would be “blocked in” and residents may be charged to have them released.

The company, which owns the land used as a car park, applied last year to build six new homes on it, but the application was refused by the borough council after more than 40 residents objected.

Residents highlighted concerns with loss of privacy and parking problems.

Ward councillor Ron Hussey said the land has been used for parking for 45 years.

There is a sign up in the car park stating that it is private parking for two blocks of maisonettes which are on ground owned by Quadron, which agreed for the sign to be installed. 

During the meeting to decide the application in December, a representative for Quadron warned that it could put a fence up around the land to stop residents parking there.

Residents had pointed out that they could claim what is known as prescriptive rights to the land, which can be granted if it can be proven that it has been used for a particular purpose for more than 20 years.

However, they said they would much rather work with Quadron to have the area developed with fewer homes to retain adequate parking for those already living on land owned by the company.

Now, it appears Quadron is set to follow through with its threat and stop residents parking there.

The notice, which was also posted on bins and fences in the area, was put up on February 10, but gave no information as to why the land will be enclosed.

According to the government website, it is offence to clamp, tow, block-in or immobilise a vehicle without lawful authority on private land, under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Those who break this law could face a fine up to £5,000.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Hussey, who represents the Grove ward, told the Gazette: “The council has twice refused Quadron's plans to develop this land because the company wants to cram in too many homes. Residents also objected because of loss of parking and restricted access.

“Although this land has been an open space for over 40 years, Quadron now suddenly plans to a build fence around the site. If only they would talk to residents, building bridges rather than erecting barriers, Quadron could find a way forward which resolves both planning and local residents' concerns.”

Quadron has not responded to the Gazette’s request for a comment.