The Windmill by Richard Phillips in Eyhorne Street has today introduced an £85 parking charge for non-customers using the car park at the rear of the public house. Residents will be able to park free from 9pm to 8.30am.
Last month users of the car park which was previously shared with the Village Hall and used by local residents were given warning notices about parking in the car park which is accessed by the Windmill Lane public footpath which is part owned by EI Group PLC (formerly Enterprise Inns PLC). This prompted the Hollingbourne Village Hall Committee to restrict car parking in the small car park at the rear of the Hall to occasions when the premises are not in use. Windmill Lane is only 3 metres wide in places and is single track with no passing spaces and the edge of the Windmill car park is often used for passing and turning. No similar parking restrictions apply to the neighbouring Sugar Loaves PH. The Lane has been maintained over the last three decades by local residents.
The Hall is on land leased from EI Group PLC and there are ongoing negotiations between the Committee and EI Group for a renewal of the lease which expired in August 2016. The lack of parking in the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area is a major local issue as there limited spaces in the Street and because of substantial increases in rentals charged for the garages in Eyhorne Mews by a new owner who has obtained planning permission to redevelop some of them for residential use. The planning permission was granted by Maidstone Borough Council despite strong opposition from local residents and Hollingbourne Parish Council. At the time of the application it is understood that Maidstone Borough Council planners were advised that any loss of the garages would be compensated by the use of the Windmill PH car park.
Pictured below is the sign that has appeared today threatening an £85 fine, the front of the Windmill by Richard Phillips after a recent redecoration, and the car park at the rear of the Windmill looking towards the Village Hall which requires parking for the regular events and activities that take place there. In order that the Hall with a capacity for over 100 is financially viable parking spaces are necessary. Mr Phillips is also pictured below.