PLEAS by three community councils to avoid charges being imposed in their car parks are expected to be turned down by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park on Wednesday, March 20.

At the March meeting of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, members will hear expressions of interest from Angle, Amroth, and Nolton & Roch community councils in running national park-owned car parks in their areas.

This follows previously-agreed Park plans to introduce charges at the sites, moving from a free year-round service to seasonal charging.

Fears have been expressed the introduction of charges would effectively ‘kill’ communities through a decline in tourism.

Nolton & Roch is asking for ownership to be transferred to the community council, with donations through an ‘honesty box’ rather than parking charges.

Both Angle and Amroth seek a community asset transfer of their car parks if parking charges are introduced.

A report for national park members advises that both Angle and Amroth car parks are a “core site for the service delivery of public parking,” and not appropriate for disposal.

Concerns about the introduction of parking charges have previously been raised at a public meeting in Angle late last year, which many felt will “kill” the village through a decline in tourism.

Locals have said that the land was donated under the condition that parking remains free.

The public meeting held at Angle village hall heard parking charges were expected to generate some £20,000 a year for the park, but there are fears introduction would make Angle a “dead” village, with a decline in tourism.

A petition objecting to the changes has collected more than 3,000 signatures.

The meeting heard that some £71,000 had been spent on the car park over a 10-year period.

At that meeting, Reverend Mike Breverton, Chaplain and Deputy Launch Authority at Angle lifeboat station, who had proposed an increase in council tax to cover costs, rather than paid parking said: “People will not come to Angle; we’ve lost so much in the last 10 years, this is the final nail in the coffin as far as I’m concerned.”

The report before the national park states: “…the Authority is not seeking partners or arm’s-length third parties to operate any, or all, of our charging car park sites.”

It adds: “The Authority has a responsibility to raise reasonable revenue streams from the assets which it holds and the services which it provides. There is a general acceptance of parking charges among the wider motoring population and the proposed parking charges and terms of use at Amroth, West Angle and Nolton will mirror those which already govern the public’s use of the Authority’s 10 pre-existing charging car parks.”

Members are recommended to decline the community councils’ offers.

Subject to statutory procedure, parking charges would be introduced in March 2020, the report adds.