Store: 'We didn't give green light to car park rally'

A NEWMARKET store has denied claims that it allowed a car park to be used for a "cruiser" car rally.

Last month more than 50 "cruisers" were at the Homebase car park in Oaks Drive close to homes on Studlands Park. They claimed they had been given permission to use the site.

But Simon Bibby, spokesman for Homebase, said: "We are aware of issues surrounding the unauthorised use of the privately owned car park. Homebase does not own the car park and was therefore not in a position to comment on its management policy or related issue."

One of the cruisers who took part in the event but asked not to be named told the Journal that the group was under the impression that the organiser had contacted the store and had permission to hold the rally.

He claimed there were between 250 and 300 cars in the car park, with the site being virtually full at one point.

He said: "People came down from Nottingham for this as it was such a big event.

"We do these things in car parks and closed off roads so we don't cause problems on normal roads."

"Our club (localcruise) hammers those who do burn-outs and wheelspins.

"We want to prove to people that is not anti-social but just a social gathering."

Sgt Mark Shipton, of Newmarket Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "One section 59 ticket was issued to a driver using their car in an anti-social manner and two fixed penalty notices were issued.

"For something like this to have permission it would have to have taken place on private land and be well away from a residential area. This one was less than a quarter of a mile from a housing estate."

Sgt Shipton confirmed that steps were now being taken by owners of the car park to prevent any similar events from taking place on the site.

"The owners of the car park have seen the damage done and are not happy with it.

"Arrangements are now being made for the gates to be locked at night," added Sgt Shipton.