South Stack: parking meter plans thrown out again

A new bid to install parking meters at South Stack has been rejected by councillors.

The RSPB wanted to introduce flat rate parking fees at the attraction just off Holy Island – £5 at peak times and £2.50 off-peak.

Last month, two applications to set up meters at the visitors’ centre and Elin’s Tower were rejected by the planning committee despite being recommended for approval by Anglesey planning officers.

On Wednesday, the committee voted to throw out an application to install a meter in the car park above the visitors centre, along with a non-illuminated sign. Two councillors abstained but said they opposed the RSPB’s plans in principle.

The committee also upheld its decisions on the two applications rejected last month.

Ynys Gybi independent councillor Dafydd Rhys Thomas described the campaign against the proposals as a ”David and Goliath situation” and warned the parking charges could be seen as a ”tax on people’s rights”.

He said he had not seen a traffic management plan and was concerned that the plans could put motorcyclists and pedestrians in danger.

RSPB area manager Fiona Mahon told the committee that the charity was listening to public concerns and ”nothing was set in stone” about their proposals. She around around £750,000 was needed to improve the site.

But Ken Hughes, the Annibynnwyr Môn councillor for Talybolion, accused the charity of making ”an excuse to boost the coffers” and nothing else. He said he felt the risk of road safety was enough reason to refuse the application and that his mind had not changed since the last meeting.

A decision on the third application was delayed so that the committee could visit the site, following a motion from Holyhead councillor John Arwel Roberts.

The RSPB’s plans have faced heavy local opposition. More than 5,800 people have signed an online petition against introducing parking charges and both Labour MP Albert Owen and Plaid Cymru AM Rhun ap Iorwerth are also opposed to introducing parking charges.

After the meeting in Llangefni, an RSPB spokesperson said they were disappointed with the committee’s decision and would carefully consider the reasons for refusing permission.

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Eich Gorsaf, Eich Llais / Your Station, Your Voice