Kotara homemaker centre plans to overhaul its car park, introducing boom gates, paid parking after set time limits and new restrictions on staff parking.
The bulky-goods shopping centre, known as Kotara Home, has 200 car spaces which are now set aside for staff to use all day.
Under the proposed changes, staff would be limited to four hours of free parking then pay a flat $4 fee to stay longer. Customers would pay an unspecified fee to stay beyond two hours.
The centre already has a two-hour time limit in its 445-space southern car park and a three-hour limit in its 550-space northern car park.
The changes, contained in a development application lodged with Newcastle council, drew a cool response from shop staff and managers at the centre on Friday.
OZ Design Furniture retail manager Rosemary Kennedy said she was unaware of the new parking plan. She said few customers would stay longer than two hours, but changes to staff parking would have an impact.
"That would be an interesting scenario since there's no other parking around the area and no public transport really coming here," she said.
"And I don't think the boom gates are necessary. It's not the Westfield over the road where you go to the cinema and eat out. There's no need for boom gates."
A report written by Ingham Planning for centre owners Aventus Property said the council had raised concern about the proposal's potential impact on staff parking habits but argued the $4 fee was a "modest amount that will discourage staff from seeking to park outside the centre".
It is understood the changes are meant to ease congestion at peak times due, in part, to staff from external businesses, including Westfield, parking in the centre.