PLANNING permission is needed for ANPR cameras and signage at a town centre car park.

A planning enforcement officer for Northumberland County Council has confirmed in correspondence seen by the Courant that permission should have been sought at Maiden's Walk car park in Hexham.

It comes after a member of the public submitted a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to the authority to ascertain whether permission was required at the site serving the town's Marks and Spencers and B&M Bargains.

The FOI was submitted by consumer rights advocate Scott Dixon, who specialises in motoring disputes.

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: "Following checks with our planning department, we have been made aware that planning permission is required for the ANPR cameras and associated signage within the car parking area.

"A member of our enforcement team has written to the landowner today to make them aware of this planning breach and will be in touch with them to discuss the matter further."

New parking measures were introduced at the car park in February.

Under the changes, automatic number plate recognition has been installed, Blue Badge holders must pay to park and cash payments have been stopped.

Adderstone Group is the landowner; the managing agents are Carter Towler LLP. Parking enforcement is monitored by Workflow Dynamics Ltd and Hozah oversee payments. All were contacted for comment.