A BUSINESS owner who provides care for elderly people has expressed her “disappointment” about a retirement home’s parking policy for support workers and carers.

Erica Oliver, who runs Andover company Buzzybees Home Support, says she has never had any problem parking at Chantry Lodge, in Chantry Street, but fears that could change.

The 53-year-old said: “The motion-activated gate system was introduced last year to discourage just anyone from using the car park, which has worked really well.

“I was concerned to hear last week that following a residents meeting, there will shortly be a new system introduced of owners-only parking, and it will be strictly enforced. How does that apply to residents who don’t have a car? Are they permitted to have relatives and support staff visit and use ‘their space’?

“There was talk of residents coming out and using their remote control to open the gate when we visit, but as our customers are [aged] in their 80s and live on the fourth floor that’s just not an option.”

The grandmother-of-four added she feels there is not enough parking for the complex’s residents, adding the first come first served basis was “poor planning.”

Buzzybees Home Support aims to do as much as possible to delay their customers from needing more intensive care services.

This week, a Churchill Retirement Living spokesperson said: “As is the case with all Churchill lodges, car parking at Chantry Lodge has always been solely for the use of owners living at the development and our policy on this has not changed.

“As a retirement developer, we, along with our management company, Millstream Management Services, have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our owners.

“In addition, we need to manage car parking effectively so that owners with cars can have access to spaces.

“It is for these reasons that we politely ask any visitors to the development to make use of the ample public parking facilities nearby.”

Mrs Oliver added: “As a retirement living complex I would have thought it obvious that many residents may eventually need some sort of outside help and maybe a couple of spaces should have been made available for any visiting care and support workers.

“We are not there all day using up spaces, rather half an hour at a time.”

The Ludgershall resident added her support workers were already pressed for time as they cover up to 180 calls a week.

Mrs Oliver said: “My work colleagues are a fantastic bunch, hardworking and so supportive of all our customers, so it will make their jobs much harder not being able to park at Chantry Lodge.

“Now it seems we will be wasting precious call time finding and paying for a parking space, time which could be better spent helping the elderly.”