AN airport parking firm at the centre of blaze that destroyed 21 vehicles is packing in twice as many vehicles as shown in council plans.
And the firm based near Edinburgh Airport is under investigation over claims it is using nearby derelict land as an overspill car park without planning permission.
The car park, run by Flying Scot, was the site of a blaze in April which raged for three hours before crews could put it out.
Motoring organisation the AA said yesterday that drivers would be angered that cars were still being parked in such close proximity.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said that, in general, close parking of cars created the potential for fire to spread more quickly.
Flying Scot say they are waiting for planning permission for the extra site, which they describe as “storage” rather than parking. The company say they are doing nothing wrong.
The April 25 fire at Low Cost Airport Parking – which charges £70 for eight days – was caused by an electrical fault in one of the cars.
Council planning documents show a drawing of the site with spaces marked for 153 cars in the main car park plus 26 spaces for “returns” and 5 “valet” spaces.
Barely three months after the fire, more than 300 vehicles are crammed nose-to-tail into the site, including cars parked in the returns and valet spaces.
Around 150 further vehicles were parked on derelict land opposite which the company owns but does not have planning permission for.
A Council spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Planning Enforcement is investigating a complaint relating to alleged unauthorised change of use at Lochend Industrial Estate.”
Referring to the car park site itself, she said: “We would encourage anyone with concerns about the operation of the car park to contact us at [email protected] and we will investigate.”
A council insider confirmed: “The approved plan shows parking for 153 cars, plus 26 spaces in the returns area and 5 valet parking spaces.”
Flying Scot is owned and run by Patricia and Jessica Reid.
Patricia Reid: “If you go into any airport car park they all park the same. We have planning consultants who actually deal with this.
“The other site we just took over in October. At the moment it is just being used as storage for the extra cars.
“It is used as an overspill for that particular car park – but that is temporary.
“We have applied for planning for it. Right now it is going full steam ahead.”
She added: “We have been in business for 25 years.
“Recently it has been quite a traumatic time for the staff and for the company.”
A spokesman for the AA said: “This will make people angry.
“There is nothing worse than returning from a holiday or business trip and finding total carnage.
“To double the capacity of the car park they are clearly using space that was not meant for parking – and they are probably using land that was not meant for parking at all.
“Clearly people pay enough enough for car parking spaces so you would expect them to at least comply with the rules.”
A spokesman for Scottish Fire and Rescue Service declined to comment on this specific case, but said: “If cars are tightly packed together the fire has the potential to spread more quickly.”