The introduction of new parking restrictions at Carr Bank Park in Mansfield have caused controversy after businesses claim it is affecting their trade.
The car park, which sits off Windmill Lane, is owned by Mansfield Manor Hotel and until recently it was free to use.
However, due to “disputes” over parking spaces, parking restrictions were put in place at £1 per hour to prevent customers at The Tea Room and Beauty Spot Cosmetics from taking up hotel parking spots.
Business owners claim it is “penalising them” for coming to work.
Denise Akbani, owner of Beauty Spot Cosmetics, said: “The car park is split and the hotel owns most of the land, whereas we only have a few car parking spaces.
“The parking restrictions went up overnight and without a permit, and from looking at them they do not follow legal regulations.
“It does not state on the entrance that this is a paid car park, there are no bays clearly marked in the car park, and there also isn’t any disabled bays.
“Two of my staff have been hit with parking tickets this week - they just aren’t paying them because we shouldn’t be penalised for coming to work.
“It is ruining local businesses, ruining the pleasure of the park and it doesn’t seem like it has been done properly.”
Parking patrols had not been enforced up until this week, however in just two days there have been six tickets issued in the car park - including to staff at businesses in the park.
Joanne Keyworth, owner of The Tea Room, believes this will put off people from visiting the cafe and could affect the residential area nearby.
She said: “We have already had people complaining about it and to be honest I think it will result in people not coming back.
“It is not fair that customers should have to pay £1 to visit a cafe next to a council-owned park, and when they don’t pay that they are pestered into an unenforceable £100 fine.
“It is also unfair on people who live nearby because people will end up parking outside houses.
“We were told at the last minute that these restrictions were coming in and the sign went up overnight - this isn’t fair.”
However, the owner of Mansfield Manor Hotel defended her decision to enforce the parking restrictions due to the limited space available for her customers.
Diane Doran, hotel owner, said: “The dispute between myself and the businesses has been going on for two and a half years, and in that time they have never listened to my concerns.
“At the end of the day I own the car park and need to ensure any customers I have are provided with space to park.
“On one occasion there was no space for the registrar to park at a wedding and this is a legal requirement.
“When I took over the business the park was in disarray, and I have helped bring it back to the community alongside supporting businesses in The Stables.
“I would be open to discussions with the business owners about part-leasing some parking spaces - they only have 11 at the minute and I probably only need about eight or nine on a normal day.
“I am also going to enquire to the parking company about putting proper bays, lighting and entrance signs up - making sure it sticks to regulations.
“It is my car park, and I am looking out for my customers.”
Mansfield District Council has been contacted for comment.