THE proprietors of an ailing Corfe Castle shop are pleading with Dorset County Council to lift parking restrictions they claim are strangling the village’s businesses.

Clealls of Corfe, formerly Clealls Stores, has just been given a welcome makeover courtesy of BBC TV show, Mary Queen of Shops presented by retailing expert, Mary Portas.

As part of the show, owners Chris and Juliet Porter have appealed to the council to remove what they claim are needless double yellow lines along Station Road, right outside their shop.

Currently no vehicle could pull in for a pint of milk, loaf of bread or even a full shop because of the strict restrictions in the heart of the village.

Having reopened yesterday after their TV facelift, Chris and Juliet are now determined to revive local business, starting with the parking issue.

“We could be losing 40 to 50 per cent of our business because of the double yellows,” said Chris, who took over the village store after moving down from London two-and-a-half years ago.

“Anyone who does stop takes the gamble of getting a parking ticket.”

Resident George Preston, who has lived in Corfe Castle for 40 years, said there used to be more than 60 parking spaces along Station Road, all of which have now been scuppered by the double yellow lines.

He said: “Keeping these businesses going is critical to this village and parking is at the heart of the whole problem.”

Mary Portas, presenter of the BBC show, said the “ridiculous” restrictions were causing businesses in the village to “die slowly”.

Dorset County Council said the issue of parking in Corfe Castle was “complex and longstanding”, with conflicts of interest between residents, businesses and visitors.

A council spokesman said: “We must above all consider the safety of the public.” The spokesman also claimed “poor visibility” at the junction of Station Road and East Street would be exacerbated by parked cars.

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