The owner of a 16th-century bar and wedding venue in South London feels like she has been “slapped around the face” after councillors voted to stop free parking during the day.

Suzie Bailey, who owns Tudor Barn on Well Hall Road in Eltham, said the new parking restrictions made by Greenwich Council will hit her hard.

Ms Bailey told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “[The barn] is the busiest wedding venue for the Royal Borough of Greenwich. And yet we don’t have any parking facilities.

"And if you cut that, it’s like you’re going to cut a lifeline for us. We already don’t get bookings because of the parking.”


Under the new restrictions, called Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs), drivers will have to pay to park in the streets neighbouring Tudor Barn, unless they have a permit. The new rules will apply between 9am and 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Ms Bailey took over Tudor Barn in 2009 after the space had been empty for years.

She said: “It was a pub with a very bad reputation…. Lots of antisocial behaviour, the moat was full of beer cans and there was a lot of drug use going on.”

The owner initially didn’t take a salary when renovating the 16th-century pub and said since changing the building into a bar and wedding venue, locals in the area have seen a noticeable decrease in antisocial behaviour in the neighbouring park.

With staff and clients parking on nearby streets such as Kidbrooke Lane, Ms Bailey described the free parking in the area as “imperative” to her business.

She said: “I’ve been here 14 years. I’ve never once had a day that I could not park on that road, and half the time it’s empty. And you’ve got every single resident on that road that said no.”

News Shopper: Parking on Kidbrooke Lane is often difficult, with staff and clients of Tudor Barn relying on itParking on Kidbrooke Lane is often difficult, with staff and clients of Tudor Barn relying on it

At a scrutiny meeting for Greenwich Council on Tuesday, November 8, a resident of the area said: “The owners have done a fantastic job in transforming that place from, what was about 20 years ago, very much a no-go zone where families wouldn’t go. It was dangerous, kids were out of control, lots of antisocial behaviour. That’s been completely turned around into a great success story.”

Council documents showed that the new controlled parking zone had 19 objections from residents and businesses in the nearby area. At the November 8 meeting, Councillor Averil Lekau said: “If we’re dealing with a group of 1,000 people, and 100 or 150 people write in, that means 850 people have not felt it worth responding.”

Ms Bailey said: “I have put my whole life into this business and struggled through. We started in one recession and got through it. And we got through the pandemic. And we’re getting back up there and now suddenly they go, ‘You can’t have parking anymore.’ I just don’t think we’re going to survive.”

Despite struggles, Ms Bailey said she is determined to find solutions to the issue. Councillors at a meeting on November 8 suggested striking a deal with the neighbouring rugby club, which has a dedicated car park onsite. Ms Bailey is also trying to stay positive about the months ahead. She told the LDRS: “We’ve got a great Christmas booked in, we’re almost fully booked. I’m really happy about that.”

Ms Bailey said she is happy to work with the council for potential solutions to the issue: “By and large, I do [back]  CPZs (controlled parking zones). But where they’re necessary. If we really struggled every day because of commuter parking and because of what was going on in the local area, I think I would be more like, ‘We need to find a solution for this.’ But there doesn’t seem to be a problem here.”


A Greenwich Council spokesperson said: “The changes to the existing Eltham Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in the Well Hall Road area will not stop people from being able to park – parking will just no longer be free and unrestricted for everyone. This follows extensive consultation from 2017 until 2021 – with the final scheme due to go ahead in the areas that have the highest levels of resident support.

“When the changes are implemented from next January non-residents will have to pay from Monday to Saturday between the times of 9am to 5.30pm, if they wish to park for longer than 30 minutes. Local businesses such as Tudor Barn will be able to apply for permits for their staff and their visitors will be able to pay and display – if they do not want to use public transport.

“This is to protect residential parking spaces and encourage the use of public transport in line with council’s Transport Strategy and Carbon Neutral Plan. Any revenue raised from parking is ringfenced and subsidises the Freedom passes for the over 60s and vulnerable residents so they can travel for free on public transport. ”

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