I purchased in June a freehold property in Sidcup, which also include a slot in an estate residential parking.
This parking is gated, and require a pass that I have to open the gates.
I also pay charges to the estate for access to this parking.
The parking slot is part of my deed, as per Land Registry, and there is no covenant mentioning parking requirements or permits.
Because of the above, I genuinely thought I could park on my slot without any other requirements, and I never cared to check at what the small blue signs in the parking were saying - but a Parking Charge Notice on my windscreen forced me to realize I was supposed to have a Resident Permit.
I received 4 of them in the space of one month (while trying in parallel to negotiate with the Parking company, P4 Parking, as well as the estate and getting a permit). I now have a permit, as my goal was not to piss anyone off.
I appealed the first PCN to P4Parking quite naively, genuinely thinking they were caring to ensure the parking was not used by non-resident so by proving them I was the rightful owner of the slot, they would just cancel the charge. Which of course they did not, stating that I failed at "displaying a valid permit" regardless of the fact that the slot was mine, that they have authority from the landlords, etc...
The estate management told me they would not get involved in this.
Now I am looking at applying to POPLA, but the charges for some PCN have increased to up to £170 according to the latest Debt Recovery mails I received. I am worried that the POPLA appeal could fail, and that the fines would still become bigger and that they might want to take it to court (which I believe I'd be ready to go to, as I hope I have a solid case).
I'm very new to all of this, but I would love to have your opinion on the above... Should I appeal, should I be ready to go to court, or should I pay? Would my below strategy could work?
I plan to appeal using the below points ( I have a way more detailed text, but I don't want to bore you with it now...):
1. Primacy of Contract & permission granted - ie: my deed has primacy over the supposedly Parking Operator contract.
2. No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice and POFA - ie: I want them to prove they have authority to act on my very specific bay.
3. The signs in this car park are not compatible with the BPA Code of Conduct: they do not meet minimum size requirements, are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces - here I find a few inconsistencies with the BPA CoC, very minor ones... (447mm wide instead of 450mm; font size not big enough to be visible according to Printing Industry standards, etc...)
4. Terms and conditions not respected by P4 Parking - the sign mentions Residents need to park on their dedicated bay, and can call a specific phone number for more info. However the phone line is down (due to covid according to their website) and my bay letter mark seem to have disappear. I argue that if they don't offer the possibility for me to find out or control my Bay letter, nor give me the opportunity to contact them for information - as per their T&C - their what they "offer" in their contract is not valid.
I'm not sure the last 2 points are very strong... nevertheless, I would like to put an end to this stressful mess - 4 PCNs, with some as high as £170 now, is scaring me.
Thank you very much in advance for your help and insights !