South London business owners fear they may have to close their stores after a set of new parking restrictions have “killed” their trade.

Belmont Parade sits on Green Lane in Chislehurst, just a 20-minute bus ride away from Bromley town centre.

The street and surrounding town are known by residents for the historic local businesses, but owners have become worried about their future following a new controlled parking zone (CPZ) being added to the area.

Gerard Walsh, 79, opened his window glazing shop on the parade with his wife 33 years ago.

He said he remembers a set of parking spaces for shoppers outside the parade when he first opened, but it has since been replaced by an extended pavement.

News Shopper: The sign for Chislehurst town centre beside Prickend PondThe sign for Chislehurst town centre beside Prickend Pond

Mr Walsh told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “It used to be a butcher’s before, but it’s still a butcher’s with the way I cut glass.

"We used to have a baker’s next door. We had an estate agent, a greengrocer as well as a supermarket, Fine Fare. The whole place has changed completely.”

Bromley Council documents showed a series of parking restrictions being added to streets such as Albany Road and Alexander Road, just off Green Lane.

The new CPZ has restricted parking to residents with paid permits, with customers of Belmont Parade not being able to park on the side streets without visitor permits while the stores are open during the daytime between 8.30am to 6.30pm.

News Shopper: Chislehurst Shoe RepairsChislehurst Shoe Repairs

Mr Walsh said: “When customers turn up to any of the shops here, they’ve only got a small space to park.

"So it’s actually wrecked all the business… You’ve got the traffic wardens that are walking around all the time nicking people. So when people get nicked they’re thinking they’re not going to come back again.”

Mr Walsh said a meeting was held between businesses on Belmont Parade and council officers about the CPZ in the local dry cleaners.

Erdal Fahri, 56, owns Belmont Dry Cleaners, with the shop being opened by his family in 1983.

News Shopper: Erdal FahriErdal Fahri

Mr Fahri told the LDRS: “If they can’t come here, because it’s inconvenient, and they are restricted with parking, constantly being penalised, constantly getting parking tickets or finding no spaces, then what do we do?

"How do we actually get customers through the door? We have definitely seen a decline.”

The owner of the dry cleaners said many businesses on the street feel the extended pavement outside the parade could be replaced by a set of parking bays for customers.

He said the parking spaces on side streets that are reserved for residents with permits are usually empty during the day when people go to work, with customers not being able to use them.

Mr Fahri said: “They will spend money on adding residents’ parking to be able to generate money from the parking permits from the local residents but they won’t spend the money on making some parking spaces for customers to be able to access us to keep us going.

News Shopper: The extended pavement outside the shops on Belmont ParadeThe extended pavement outside the shops on Belmont Parade

"There seems to be no focus on helping local businesses… It’s just putting us in a position where we’re really not sure if we should continue with it.”

He added: “The general theme is decline. It’s just constant. We’ve now gone to the expense of having vehicles and drivers so rather than the customers coming to us, we go to them. That’s an added expense. It’s a free service, but it just comes off of our bottom line.”

Bromley Council said on its website that 126 out of 178 Chislehurst residents were in approval of the new CPZ when it was proposed in a survey in March 2022, after 700 letters on the scheme were sent to locals.

They said that residents permits would cost £100 per year and a book of 15 visitor permits would be £55. A further consultation in November 2022 found 471 residents out of 601 did not approve of the new CPZ, but the authority claimed the local roads that initially complained about parking in the area were still in favour of the scheme.

The council said on its website: “The primary goal of the scheme is to improve parking availability and reduce congestion in the area for residents.

"Any revenue generated will offset the cost of implementing, enforcing and maintaining the scheme… The scheme will not negatively impact local companies as the larger businesses provide on-site parking and the proposed CPZ includes paid-for bays to allow easier access for visitors.”

Hemant Vadher, 59, has owned Chislehurst Shoe Repairs for 30 years.

He said the shop used to rely on customers who dropped off their shoes or keys after briefly parking their cars nearby, but trade has dropped since the CPZ was added earlier this year.

Mr Vadher told the LDRS: “Now it’s like they’re scared to do that. After having a ticket once, obviously, they’re not going to pay silly money like £60 for a ticket and then have £11 shoe repairs, and that’s what’s killing this trade… They have taken it in a way that we will have no choice but to close.”

Bromley Council was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.