A HALE art gallery is at loggerheads with the council over use of a loading bay.

Chris Brooks and Alison Kelly, owners of Atelier Rose and Gray Gallery on Cambridge Road, are worried for the gallery’s future without loading facilities.

The couple were fined £35 after Trafford Council officers claimed their vehicle was parked in the bay with ‘no evidence of loading’, which must be continuous.

Alison said: “What does ‘continuously loading’ mean?

“It can take up to an hour to load big pictures.

“If it’s Tesco unloading bread and milk they can leave their van open but if we get a £3000 painting stolen, we’re out of business.”

In a letter to the council, Chris wrote that officers were ‘biased’ towards the Tesco trucks and showed ‘scant regard for small local businesses desperately trying to earn a living’.

Alison added that the nearby Tesco store ‘commandeered’ the bay, Chris saying they had to move ‘immediately’ when the supermarket’s trucks arrived.

A council spokesman cited a ‘clearly defined appeals process for anyone receiving a parking penalty notice’ and added: “Where any individual or business feels that they have received a notice unfairly and are able to provide evidence to substantiate their use of the parking space, this will always be carefully considered as part of the appeal process.

“This loading bay is regularly monitored as part of a daily patrol with a five minute observation time provided for non-commercial vehicles before a parking penalty is issued if no loading or unloading activity is observed. Commercial vehicles are observed for 10 minutes.”