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Drivers claim cars were damaged by paint being sprayed onto Folkestone's Morrisons

Frustrated drivers say they have been unable to use their cars after they were splattered with paint being sprayed onto a new Morrisons store.

Around 40 cars were reportedly damaged when parked in the Three Hills Sports Park, in Cheriton Road, Folkestone, while the owners were watching their children take part in St Eanswythes Primary School's annual sports day.

Brian Harris' car, which has been damaged by the paint
Brian Harris' car, which has been damaged by the paint

But the parents say a team working on re-building the Morrisons supermarket next to the sport centre's car park were spray-painting the steel structure, which resulted in particles wafting across the lot and landing on the vehicles.

The substance, described as 'sap' like, has coated the cars with white dots, leaving them with a 'sandpaper' type finish.

It is also causing visibility issues; when it rains the windscreen is left covered in smears as the wipers cannot swipe properly.

Since the incident, KentOnline's sister paper Folkestone & Hythe Express has been contacted by seven frustrated parents.

Dad-of-two Anthony Webster, who owns a Skoda Fabia, said: "The contractors that are rebuilding Morrisons supermarket decided to spray paint the steel structure.

The back window of Helen Baber's car
The back window of Helen Baber's car

"Airbourne paint particles covered over 40 cars that were in the car park.

"It was only when I washed the car I noticed it is badly damaged.

"Short of scratching it off you can't remove the paint. But it smears the windscreen when it rains as the wipers can't get contact."

Helen Baber, 33, says she had to rent a car after her Blue Ford CMAX was left too "dangerous" to drive.

She said: "It made it impossible to drive in the rain and I had to get a hire car when we went on holiday to France as my windscreen was so bad when it was raining as it would not wipe clear!

"I also had to get friends to drive me about if it was raining as the few times I did drive in the rain it was dangerous!

White dots on Daniel Mccrudden's car bonnet
White dots on Daniel Mccrudden's car bonnet

"My windscreen has improved over the weeks but I still have lots of paint all over my car and windows and my windscreen wipers are now not working properly."

Daniel Mccrudden, 30, owner of a Citroen DS4, said: "My car is really damaged and it has ruined the paintwork. It's like sandpaper."

One owner, Ryan Godden, 31, said he had no choice but to repair his own windscreen so he could still drive when it rains.

Brian Harris, 65, said: "Having a dark coloured car nothing could be seen but a film could clearly be felt, the paintwork was not smooth.

"The next time I had cause to use my windscreen wipers you could clearly hear the wipers grating against the paint."

Parents say there are also fears spectators, children and anyone else in the area breathed in the paint.

Mr Webster, 34, said: "The particles may have been inhaled by over 200 people sitting on the stands watching, in addition to the hundreds of children participating in the sports day."

Gemma Henderson, 39, whose car was also damaged, said: "No one has been able to tell us the exact type of paint that is all over our cars and that our children were breathing in that afternoon."

Work is being carried out on Morrisons to re-build the store after it was partially destroyed by a fire last November.

And all of those affected have now been in contact with Thanet-based company JJUK, who were on site that day.

But they are growing increasingly frustrated as no resolution has yet been offered regarding fixing the damage, which happened on Tuesday, July 9.

The new Morrisons supermarket is coming along nicely
The new Morrisons supermarket is coming along nicely

Mr Webster said: "Families affected contacted the building site manager who said that he was dealing with his insurance. Weeks later and no one has admitted liability.

"The insurers have told everyone to go through their own car insurance as a resolution is a long way off.

"I don't want to lose my no claims bonus or have to pay excess on something that was not my fault."

Mrs Henderson, from Hawkinge, added: "It is an absolute disgrace that they are advising people to go through their own insurers!

Morrisons was destroyed by a fire last year. Picture: Paul Amos
Morrisons was destroyed by a fire last year. Picture: Paul Amos

"Why should we have to forgo our no claims discount when we are not in anyway responsible for what happened."

A Morrisons spokesman said: "We are aware of this incident and are liaising with the lead contractor to help any drivers affected."

JJUK has declined to comment.

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