Car Park ANPR system
at All Saints Whitstable
This was the statement that was agreed by our Church Council with some additional material included after recent social media discussion about the ANPR system at All Saints
All Saints Church Whitstable brought in an ANPR system in the summer of 2021 as we found that more and more people were parking their cars in our car parks who were not visiting our church, churchyard, hall, nursery school or scout hut. This was making it increasingly difficult for our regular visitors to find parking. It has also made it impossible to keep parking limited to a safe number of users as our Risk Assessment picked up that the irregular and unmonitored use of our car park was causing a danger to pedestrians on our site, many of whom are children and vulnerable adults.
We tried a temporary gate but discovered this was being opened by unauthorised users. We cannot lock the car parks as we also have a very busy church hall, scout hut and nursery school, most of which are open much of the week and which all require parking for those who use these facilities. A gate system therefore has been proven not to work.
We therefore have had to opt for an ANPR system as the best alternative to keep the car parks free of unregistered users and available for the frequent sudden arrival of a large number of cars for weddings, funerals, baptisms, church hall events, and much more besides.
- The car park may look empty on occasions but this is so that it can accommodate these sudden arrivals of large number of cars.
- This system is monitored by an external agency Horizon parking who will issue parking charges to unauthorised users of the car parks.
- None of the revenue from the parking charges comes to All Saints Whitstable. It all goes to Horizon parking who installed and manage the system for us free of charge.
- All Saints is not just a church. It has a hall used by many non churchgoers. It has a nursery school. It has a very popular scout group and brownie/guide group. The system has been brought in for the whole community.
- If parking is not possible for funerals when the family have to attend the Crematorium for a committal service straight after the church service then real problems can occur. Similarly if the car parks are full of cars not on church business before a wedding this can also cause real problems for the wedding. It may look empty one minute but that is probably because some big event is happening later. This is one of the main reasons why we brought in the system.
- The last thing we as a church so Simon as a vicar wants to do is to upset people. However, we feel we were left with little choice due to the fact that on some days before the system was brought in there were some days when are car parks were unavailable for our own use and when large numbers of cars had parked overnight making our car parks difficult for events happening in the morning.
- Simon our vicar spoke to the management of the Monument public house about this before the system was brought in and received a gracious and understanding response from them. We are on very good terms with them and a lot of our weddings and christenings and funerals use the Monument for their receptions. We consider it to be one of the best pubs in Whitstable and it is good to see it continues to thrive despite the changes we have had to make, making the car park less accessible to pub visitors. We remain on very good terms with this excellent pub.