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POPLA Appeal help please - Athena ANPR (lidl car park)

Hi everyone,

Could someone please help me write an appeal to POPLA.

I got a PCN from Athena ANPR because silly me thought that all supermarket allowed you to park for 2 hours. I didn't know and didn't pay attention to the fact that it's only 1.30 hours when it comes to Lidl, so I overstayed by around 20 minutes. I'm a new driver, and had my driving license only for 3 months, so still figuring some things out when it comes to parkin). So yeah, fair enough I should have been more vigilant, but the car park was far from full, and 90 pounds is just crazy!

So, i sent them an email on the 13th of September, where I customized the parking cowboy template letter (Punitive/unfair/unreasonable charge, no contract, what's their status, demonstrate the loss, ect...).

They came back with their standard bogus letter blabbing about: the car park is on private land, photographic evidence shows i failed to comply, they're under no obligation at present to provide copy of contract with landowner, no breakdown of loss. Oh, and reducing the charge to 45 quid, and providing the POPLA code.

Can someone point me to a straight to the point template of what I could write to POPLA?

Many thanks


  • edited 11 October 2013 at 10:51PM
    105.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 11 October 2013 at 10:51PM
    Yep, it's easy when you know how:

    Write your own version like those and do post your draft here first for fine-tuning. You are quite safe as Athena are very tame, never do court and you'll beat them now at POPLA anyway.

    And was the Notice to Keeper compliant?

    Check there, find out if the first letter with pics of the car was posted in time and worded in a fully compliant way. Probably not...let us know what you find in your 'spot the difference' mission. I helped a friend only last month to spot a difference in a NTK (different PPC) and they cancelled as soon as he appealed pointing out their NTK omission!
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  • Hi

    Thank you very much for the above info.

    So before I try to draft something to POPLA, could someone have a look at their first letter and confirm that it is NTK compliant. It looks like it is, except perhaps if one can argue they failed to properly identify the "creditor"?

    If it is not NTK compliant, do I still need to appeal to POPLA or do I go back to Athena pointing out why their PCN needs to be dismissed?

    Sorry, I'm a newbie on the forum so can't post link, so I typed what was on the letter




    Exceeded Free Parking Duration at:
    Lidl Lewisham
    104-120 Lee High Road, Lewisham
    London SE13

    Vehicle Registration No.
    lncident Date: 07/09/13
    Parking Charge Notice No.
    lssue Date10109113
    Parking Charge £90.00
    Allowed Duration of Stay 01:30:00
    Actual Duration of Stay 01:58:42

    The term and conditions of the car park are clearly displayed on signs in prominent place.
    Because of CCTV evidence there is reasonable cause to believe that according to these terms a charge is due. Therefore we have applied to the DVL to request your details.
    On the incident date according to DVLA records you were the registered keeper of the vehicle, with the registration number shown above.
    This Parking Charge Notice has been issued for the incident described and the driver of the vehicle is responsible for payment. You have the responsibility under schedule 4 of the protection of freedoms act 2012 (POFA) of either paying this outstanding parking charge yourself or if you were not the driver advising us in writing within 28 days who the driver was at the time and their current address using the contact information below. You will also need to pass the notice on to the driver for payment.

    lf after a period of 28 days (beginning with the day after which this notice is served), the parking charge has not been paid and we do not know a name and current address for service for the driver, Athena ANPR Ltd have the right to recover outstanding parking charges from the registered keeper of the vehicle.
    You have the opportunity to appeal this charge strictly within 28 days of delivery of this notice. The POFA 2012 legislation states that the notice is presumed to be delivered by the second working day after the date of issue by us. Any appeals MUST be made in writing
    to Athena ANPR at the PO Box address on the advice slip or via e-mail to [email protected] Appeals will NOT be accepted by phone. Pease include your telephone number in case we need to contact you. Following receipt of an appeal, no further action will be
    taken by us until a decision has been made to accept or reject it. lf an appeal is rejected by us we will then inform you at that point about Parking On Private Land Appeals {POPLA), the independent appeals process- However this is NOT available to you until we have
    Adjudicated on the appeal ourselves,
    If the Parking Charge is paid within a period of 14 days from the Parking Charge issue Date a Reduced Parking Charge is payable as shown below. Failure to pay the Parking Charge within the time period described may result in Athena ANPR transferring your case to a debt
    Collection company or to further legal proceedings where additional costs could be incurred
    We are a member of the British Parking Association Approved Operator Scheme.

    You may pay online at ...., by telephone on 0844 225 9881 or 0844 477 8009, or by post using the payment advice slip below which must be returned with your payment.

    Please return this payment advice slip along with a cheque or postal order for the REDUCED CHARGE amount to the address provided.

    Cheques should be made payable to ATHENA ANPR Ltd. Please write the PARKING CHARGE NOTICE No. on the reverse of the cheque
    INCIDENT DATE 07/09/2013
    Reduced parking charge: €45.00

    Athena ANPR Ltd Reg in England:05678510, Vat Reg: 888279058, Reg Office:The Heights,5g-65 Lowlands Road, Harrow, HA1 3AW
  • StromaStroma Forumite
    8K Posts
    Uniform Washer
    Can you confirm this

    Date of parking
    Date of issue
    Date of receiving

    And it was a postal ticket not on the car

    When posting a parking issue on MSE do not reveal any information that may enable PPCs to identify you. They DO monitor the forum.
    We don't need the following to help you.
    Name, Address, PCN Number, Exact Date Of Incident, Date On Invoice, Reg Number, Vehicle Picture, The Time You Entered & Left Car Park, Or The Amount of Time You Overstayed.
    :beer: Anti Enforcement Hobbyist Member :beer:
  • Hi Stroma,

    Date of Parking: 07/09
    Date of Issue: 10/09
    Date received: I think 12/09 (sent them the appeal on the 13/09)
    Yes, postal ticket.

  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
    105.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    So the Notice was sent by them in time. You can still easily beat them at POPLA if you draft a POPLA appeal as per the examples in the link I already gave you above.

    Do show us your draft first, if unsure of any points, but don't miss out the important paragraphs (again, covered in the link I gave you). You can add a paragraph that says the NTK fails to specifically name the creditor, which can be copied from Broadsword's post here:

    Post #7 includes what to say about the 'lack of creditor being identified' issue.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Hi

    Here's my draft. Is this any good, and do I need to make any changes? I which I could find something more in terms of breach of practice to add to it, but can't think of anything. Do I need to add something about signage as well?
    Many thanks !


    POPLA Code:
    Vehicle Reg:
    PPC: Athena ANPR
    PCN Ref:
    Alleged Contravention Date & Time:
    Date of PCN:

    On xx September 2013 I was sent an invoice from Athena ANPR requiring payment of a charge of £90 for an alleged parking contravention.
    I would like to appeal this notice on the following grounds:

    - No Creditor identified on the Notice to Appellant
    - No authority to levy charges
    - Lack of contract
    - Charge not a genuine pre-estimate of loss
    - Cameras

    No Creditor identified on the Notice to Appellant
    Failing to include specific identification as to who ‘the Creditor’ may be is misleading and not compliant in regard to paragraph 9(2)(h) of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Whilst the Notice has indicated that the operator requires a payment to Athena ANPR, there is no specific identification of the Creditor who may, in law, be Athena ANPR or some other party. The Protection of Freedoms Act requires a Notice to Appellant to have words to the effect that ‘The Creditor is…’ and the Notice does not.
    I therefore respectfully request that my appeal is upheld and the charge dismissed.

    No authority to levy charges
    A parking management company will need to have the proper legal authorisation to contract with the consumer on the landowner’s behalf and enforce for breach of contract. The operator must produce evidence to demonstrate that it is the landowner, or a contract or other evidence that it has the authority of the landowner to issue charge notices at this location. The appellant believes there is no contract with the landowner/occupier that entitles Athena ANPR to levy these charges and to pursue these charges in their own name in the Courts and therefore has no authority to issue charge notices. When requested on appeal Athena ANPR failed to provide a copy of the contract. The appellant puts the operator to strict proof to POPLA that they have the necessary legal authorisation at this location and demands that the operator produce to POPLA the contemporaneous and unredacted contract between the landowner and the operator.
    I therefore respectfully request that my appeal is upheld and the charge dismissed.

    No contract
    There was no contract between the driver and Athena ANPR. The driver did not see any contractual information on any signs when entering the car park and therefore at that time had no idea that any contract or restrictions applied. As a consequence the requirements for forming a contract such as a meeting of minds, agreement, and certainty of terms were not satisfied. And even if there was a contract, which has yet to be proven, then it is unfair as defined in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
    I therefore respectfully request that my appeal is upheld and the charge dismissed.

    Charge not a genuine pre-estimate of loss
    The demand for £90 is punitive, unreasonable, exceeds an appropriate amount, has no relationship to the loss that would have been suffered by the Landowner, and is therefore an unenforceable penalty. Furthermore, it exceeds the BPA’s own Code of Practice.
    The BPA Code of Practice states:
    19.5 If the parking charge that the driver is being asked to pay is for a breach of contract or act of trespass, this charge must be based on the genuine pre-estimate of loss that you suffer.
    19.6 If your parking charge is based upon a contractually agreed sum, that charge cannot be punitive or unreasonable.
    The appellant requires Athena ANPR to provide a detailed breakdown of how the amount of the charge was calculated. I am aware from Court rulings and previous POPLA adjudications that the cost of running the business may not be included in these pre-estimates of loss.
    I therefore respectfully request that my appeal is upheld and the charge dismissed.

    Athena ANPR are obliged to make sure their equipment is in working order and comply with the requirements of the BPA Code of Practice part 21. The appellant required them to present evidence on whether the cameras were checked and maintained recently in relation to the date of the alleged incident, to ensure the accuracy of any Athena ANPR images. They have failed to do so, although this is important because the entirety of the charge is founded on two images purporting to show the vehicle entering and exiting at specific times.
    I also challenge The Operator to show that DPA registration (data collecting CCTV) is also compliant with legal and BPA requirements and demand that they demonstrate adherence.
    I therefore respectfully request that my appeal is upheld and the charge dismissed.

    Yours Sincerely,
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
    105.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    That's good. :)

    There was a POPLA adjudication by assessor Matthew Shaw that found in favour of the appellant by virtue of the NTK being non-compliant so I would use Matthew's words, added after 'and the notice does not'.

    POPLA Assessor Matthew Shaw has stated that the validity of a Notice to Keeper is fundamental to establishing liability for a parking charge. Where a Notice is to be relied upon to establish liability under Paragraph 9 it must, as with any statutory provision, comply with the Act. As the Notice was not compliant with the Act, it was not properly issued.

    And I think you could quote him again re the loss point, added after 'cost of running the business may not be included in these pre-estimates of loss.' :

    POPLA Assessor Matthew Shaw has stated that the entirety of the parking charge must be a genuine pre-estimate of loss in order to be enforceable. For example, were no breach to have occurred, then the cost of parking enforcement, such as erecting signage, would still have been the same. The estimate must be based upon loss flowing from a breach of the parking terms, and in this instance there was no such loss.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Awesome! Thank you so much. I will add those two parts and send off my appeal today. Fingers crossed. How long do they usually take to come back with a decision?
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
    105.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Should be end of November/start of December but you'll get an acknowledgement from POPLA and an evidence pack (pile of carp) from the PPC which simply wastes their postage. You don't have to respond to POPLA about the PPC's 'evidence' unless it's obvious there's a lie or something in it!
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
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  • edited 12 November 2013 at 3:07PM
    Diva0804Diva0804 Forumite
    24 Posts
    edited 12 November 2013 at 3:07PM
    Hi everyone,
    I've actually just received Athena's evidence by email. 17 freaking pages, including the email i sent to them, a plan of the car park, pictures, and a letter from Lidl which owns the land confirming that they authorise Athena to implement a parking enforcement scheme!!!
    I wonder if I should be worried, and do anything else???
    They keep referring to me as he and Mr, when I'm actually a woman, and it's irritating. Anyways here are just some bits of it. Thoughts?
    Section B: Case Summary and Conditions

    Popla Appeal:

    Registered Keeper:
    Mr x
    1. This appeal relates to the Lidl supermarket car park in 104-120 Lee High Road, Lewisham,
    London, SE13 5TP
    2. Parking at this site is charged for at a rate of £90 for all periods exceeding 90 minutes.
    3. According to our records a vehicle with the registration xxxxxxxx used this car park for a period
    of 1 hour 58 minutes and 42 seconds, thereby entering the charging period.
    4. There are signs which clearly display these conditions as shown in Section F Images, plans etc.
    5. The sequence of events is as follows:
    xxxxxxx Entered Car Park 07/09/2013 12:07:14
    • xxxxxxx
    Exited Car Park 07/09/2013 14:05:56
    Parking Charged at £90 following: 01:30:00
    Duration of Stay: 01:58:42
    Application to DVLA for registered keeper details: 09/09/2013
    DVLA Response to us: 10/09/2013
    Parking Charge Notice 0 001 378 284 Issued to Registered Keeper: 10/09/2013
    6. Mr x appealed to us in his email, (Section E) and, following our rejection of his appeal, to
    POPLA. In doing so;
    He has not denied being the registered keeper.
    He has not denied being the driver at the time in question.
    He has not denied the length of stay.
    7. There are very many signs positioned throughout this site and we try to make our signs as visible as possible. They are 90cm 75cm which is much larger than the British Parking Association minimum requirement of 45cm x 45cm.
    8. Parking restrictions apply 24 hours per day and this is clearly stipulated on the 13 signs around the car park. These signs refer to all areas of the car park and we have attached a plan showing their location.
    9. Mr x had a full 90 minutes to read and consider the parking terms displayed on the 13 signs that are prominently displayed throughout the site, giving notice to an area of 72 parking spaces,which gives a ratio onsite of 1 sign to roughly every 6 spaces. There are very clear entrance signs in place, directly in the view of the driver as they drive onto the site. It is impossible to enter or exit the car park without seeing the signage in place. He had a full 90 minutes to decide whether to stay in the car park and continue to use it during the charging period or whether to leave it before the charging period began and not incur a charge. He had every opportunity to make a reasoned and carefully considered decision whether to leave this private property, avoid the clearly signed charge and to park elsewhere, thereby preventing the issuing of the charges arising in the first place.
    10. Our signage at this site complies fully with the BPA code. There is standard, compliant signage at the entrance which clearly indicates that parking controls are in place. It is then the responsibility of the Appellant to check the notification signage, which explains the rules in full.
    Athena ANPR Ltd have a contract with Lidl UK Gmbh (who are the owner of the land in question),which authorises us to issue parking charges, to enforce those charges and to pursue any nonpayment of those charges. This arrangement is specifically allowed under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Our contract is commercially confidential but we have attached a letter (Section G Other Evidence) from Lidl UK Gmbh to confirm it is in place and that we are authorised
    to issue parking charges.
    12. We maintain that Mr x entered into a contract with Athena ANPR Ltd by virtue of the very clearly displayed car park signage and consequently is liable for the parking charge. Our contract with the landowner allows us to act as their agent. The landowner is offering the option to park on their private land, subject to a charge of £90 for parking periods which exceed 90 minutes and they employ us to collect those charges.
    13. Mr x further claims that we are seeking damages as a result of breach of contract. We are in fact seeking to enforce that contract. We are seeking payment of a charge which Mr x incurred as a result of parking his vehicle on this private land, which is clearly signed and in which he had an hour and a half to leave before the charging period commenced, but which he then chose not to do. We believe that Mr x has in fact created this situation himself, at the very least by acting without reasonable due care.
    14. We also maintain that the charge is not excessive, particularly when Mr x could have paid the clearly signed discounted rate of £45 for early payment, or he could have made representations to us at any point outlining any mitigating circumstances in his favour, which we would have
    sympathetically and reasonably considered. Regardless, an offer was clearly made of parking for a period of longer than 90 minutes which would incur the charge we issued to him. Mr x parked his vehicle in the car park, thereby agreeing to the contractual terms and conditions displayed on the signs, which include the specific wording of “agree to pay”. This included the condition that parking for longer than 90 minutes incurred an agreed charge of £90.
    15. Mr x makes varies legal points which we entirely dispute. Our parking charge notice has been audited by the BPA and our own solicitors and found to be totally compatible with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
    16. Our Data Protection Act certificate is enclosed in section G other evidence.
    17. To summarise:
    We are enforcing agreed charges rather than seeking a breach of contract.
    The charges are not excessive.
    Our contract allows us to act as an agent of the landowner.
    The Appellant has not disputed any of the facts of this case concerning the actual
    circumstances of being on this private land for longer than the allowed time, as per our
    paragraph 6 above.
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