PLANS to introduce parking charges at Eastrop have been put on hold while the council considers a petition.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has confirmed that parking will remain free at Eastrop Park until it has “taken the time to review” a petition signed by more than 1,300 people.

Read more: Protest held at Eastrop Park against parking charges

The petition is expected to be handed in to the full council on July 14 so parking will remain free until at least this date. 

The borough council was planning to introduce parking charges at Eastrop Park in May and has already installed parking meters at both car parks.

However, the machines are covered in black plastic and signs have since been put up informing visitors that parking is currently free.

Councillor Rebecca Bean, cabinet member for resident services, said: “As the cabinet member responsible for parking I am aware of an ongoing petition opposing the implementation of parking charges at Eastrop Park. The car parks at Eastrop Park will remain free to park in until we have taken the time to review that.”

The petition, launched by Councillor Paul Basham, a Norden borough councillor for Basingstoke and Deane Independent Group, calls on the council to keep parking free at Eastrop.

Campaigners held at protest at the park last month when dozens of people turned up to demonstrate.

The parking charges, approved by Councillor Hayley Eachus, cabinet member for recycling, waste and regulatory services, would see visitors having to pay £8 to stay the day.

The petition against the charges was supported by the Women’s Equality Party Basingstoke and Labour councillors.

A public consultation on the proposals to introduce parking charges saw just one person support the plans.

Cllr Basham said the number of signatures on the petition “shows the strength of feeling amongst local people”.

He added: “It was a decision that was objected to, it had a high level of objection, and the council said they addressed that by reducing the charges to make it less discriminatory. But you can’t be less discriminatory.”

To sign the petition click here.

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