VILLAGERS who complained about changes to parking restrictions in Odiham have “a very hard and selfish attitude,” a meeting was told.

Councillor Richard Harris told a meeting of Odiham Parish Council: “If we look at what the objectives are, it was to get a compromise about parking to improve business of retailers in High Street, to make it easier for visitors to park in High Street, and a compromise on parking for the residents.

“The biggest complaint is from the residents who are taking, in my view, a very hard and selfish attitude.”

As reported in The Gazette, the parish council has been looking at improving parking on High Street for the past two years.

The village currently has 119 free parking bays in High Street, with two Hart District Council-run car parks in Deer Park View and The Bury, where motorists have to pay.

The proposed changes, as agreed by Hart District Council, would see a two-hour limit for people parking in High Street, an increase of the area covered by the time limits, and a resident parking zone introduced opposite the war memorial. A parking permit scheme has also been set up.

But the meeting heard the parish council has received complaints from residents since the erection of new parking signs in High Street.

Cllr Mark Faulkner said some High Street residents had complained about the sites of the new signs, some of which are outside listed buildings. Other residents complained that they did not have enough off-street parking spaces, the meeting heard.

Cllr Harris said he will look at the complaints and last-minute changes will be reviewed before the parking restrictions come into force.

He added: “It’s an experimental traffic order so it can be fine-tuned over the next 18 months.”