A flagship department store has called for an urgent investigation into why parking restrictions at a shopping centre were changed without warning.

Debenhams is set to open in Theobold Street later this year – but it was not consulted about plans to cut the time limit in the Borehamwood Shopping Park car park from three to two hours.

Debenhams managers are also demanding shopping park owners Jones Lang LaSalle explain their reasoning behind the decision.

Hundreds have vowed to boycott the shopping park, which also houses Next, Outfit, New Look and Boots, over fears they will be fined if they accidentally spend too long there.

In a statement, Debenhams said: “We will be approaching the landlords and suggesting to them that they review this change and the rationale behind this decision.

“In the meantime we have suggested that they should revert back to the three-hour allowance ahead of any investigation.”

People are also now banned from returning to the car park within three hours of leaving on the same day, no matter how long they have parked for.

Residents were not consulted about the changes, but car park owner JLL say it is for a trial period, although signs fail to mention this.

Those who break the rules could end up paying fines of £85 to Parking Eye, or end up in court.

Last week, many told the Borehamwood Times the move would kill trade and others said the lack of consultation was disrespectful.

After hearing of Debenhams' reaction, campaigner Sue Alford, of Hunter Close, said: "That’s fantastic. It’s reassuring to see they’re on our side and they support us.

“We don’t want to have to boycott the store but people will see no other option.”

Councillor Sandra Parnell added: “It shows they are listening to the residents. We want to shop in our retail park and don’t want to have to go anywhere else.

“Debenhams are doing what the residents want. If they put it back to three hours we’ll be thrilled, and we’ll continue to shop here.

“There’s been a lot of anger about this.”

The Borehamwood Times is awaiting comment from Jones Lang LaSalle.