'Council car park damaged my car' claim

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 July 2013

Stuart Griffin with the car which shows signs of damage on the bonnet and side panel

Stuart Griffin with the car which shows signs of damage on the bonnet and side panel

Archant

AN irate driver fears a council-owned car park in Welwyn Garden City has damaged his vehicle.

The white damage is clear on Stewart's red carThe white damage is clear on Stewart's red car

Stuart Griffin, of Copperfields, has parked his Vauxhall Astra in the same space – bay 81 – in Campus East car park every day for the past six years.

But since March he has seen a ‘white stain’ appear on the bonnet of his car, which he initially feared was an act of vandalism.

But after seeing an article in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, which reported Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has pledged £60,000 to repair the car park amid fears of salt water dripping onto vehicles, he changed his mind.

“It all made sense after I read that,” said the 42-year-old.

"“I am disappointed. I was expecting them to say ‘sorry about that, we will get your car fixed’ but they are not accepting liability.”"

Stuart Griffin

“There is also a white stain on the floor and stalactites on the roof.”

He then wrote to the council, who denied any responsibility for the damages.

“I am disappointed,” said Mr Griffin. “I was expecting them to say ‘sorry about that, we will get your car fixed’ but they are not accepting liability.”

Mr Griffin, a supermarket assistant at Waitrose, said that the stain is on the bonnet of his red Astra, and has been getting progressively worse.

But he is not aware that this has happened to anyone else.

A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “When an initial complaint was made in May, an inspection of the Campus East car park was made and action taken to block off the spaces in the lower section that were affected.

“A permanent solution to prevent any further problems is being considered.

“Mr Griffin contacted us in June regarding damage to his car from earlier in the year, however, up to the point in May when we received notification of the problem, the risk of damage was not foreseeable.

“On this basis there was nothing we could have done to prevent it and therefore we would have no liability to compensate him for the damage.”

A report shown to cabinet members last month stated: “The work needs to take place because there are now instances of salt water dripping through from above which is allegedly damaging the paintwork of cars parked in the spaces below.”

A new anti-slip surface will also be applied to the upper-tier of the two-storey parking area, which is next to Waitrose.

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