Council and Asda in car parking battle

Photo Neil Cross'the new Asda supermarket in Bolton Street, Chorley
Photo Neil Cross'the new Asda supermarket in Bolton Street, Chorley
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Chorley Council is preparing for a David and Goliath scrap – by taking on US supermarket giant Walmart

The supermarket company – which last year recorded profits of $7.2 billion – owns the new Asda store in Chorley.

And the town’s council could now serve an enforcement notice on the company after a lengthy wrangle over parking at the new store.

The council claims the superstore has reneged on a planning agreement to charge customers for using the car park at Chorley’s Bolton Street store, which opened in October last year.

But the store, which installed parking meters but has never charged customers for parking, says it is doing nothing wrong.

If neither of the parties are willing to back down over the issue, the dispute could end in a court battle.

Council leader Alistair Bradley said: “If we don’t do it, we’ll be failing the residents of Chorley because if they can flout the law, why can’t you go and build anything you like?”

The council’s development control committee will meet in January when it is due to discuss the issue.

Councillors could be presented with a number of options – including an enforcement notice.

Council leader Coun Alistair Bradley slammed Asda, saying it should live up to its “moral obligations” and stick to the agreement which the council claims was in place when the planning application for the store – submitted by Walmart – was passed.

He said: “Things like this give them a competitive edge which they never were supposed to have.

“We’ll take enforcment action to take them to court.

A spokesman for Asda said: “We believe we have met the planning obligations imposed by Chorley Council and will continue to discuss any concerns they have.”

The long-awaited 46,000 sq ft supermarket opened in October 2014.

It was the largest Asda store to open last year and was built on the former QS Fashions site at the corner of Bolton Street, Pall Mall and Market Street.

More than 400 people worked there when the supermarket opened, including 300 new employees.