‘Sort YOUR car park for OUR customers’

Michael Silverwood, bar manager at the North Wingfield Miners' Welfare in their car park and the Co-op behind which is in dispute with the Williamthorpe Road pub.

Michael Silverwood, bar manager at the North Wingfield Miners' Welfare in their car park and the Co-op behind which is in dispute with the Williamthorpe Road pub.

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A miners’ welfare club secretary says he feels “bullied” after the Co-Op demanded they resurface the club car park – for the safety of customers shopping at the food store.

Richard Ward, secretary of North Wingfield Miners’ Welfare, says the Co-Op is demanding they re-surface the car park on Williamthorpe Road, which is owned by the club and used as an overflow car park by shoppers.

Richard said the club sold the Co-Op the land 25 years ago, so they could build a food store. At the time, the Co-Op said they would build the club a car park, on the proviso the they maintained it and allowed it to be an overflow car park for shoppers.

But three years ago, a customer fell in the car park – sparking the bitter land dispute.

Richard said: “Because it was in the contract that we maintained it, our insurance had to pay out. The Co-Op did pay to resurface the car park after that, but now they are saying it needs doing again.”

“We feel like the Co-Op is bullying us into selling them the land for cheap,” said Richard. “They have demanded that we pay for the car park to be resurfaced, or sell them the land for £15,000. We had the land independently valued at £40,000.”

A spokesperson from Central England Co-operative said that, following the fall, they obtained a quote to resurface the car park.

The spokesperson added: “As owners, Miners Welfare Club has not undertaken any further maintenance. Therefore, the Society has offered to purchase the car park at what we believe is a fair price, along with any on-going maintenance fees. We believe that the valuation which the Miners Welfare Club has received doesn’t take into account our existing legal rights on the use of the land or the maintenance costs, and is therefore misleading. We have disputed this with the valuers and are awaiting a response.”