Parking meters look set to be introduced at South Stack after the RSPB won an appeal against a planning decision.
Anglesey councillors twice refused applications in June to introduce pay and display meters at Elin’s Tower and the visitor’s centre. But the Planning Inspectorate said the planning committee had acted ”unreasonably” when it turned down the proposals.
The charity wants to introduce flat rate parking fees at the attraction just off Holy Island – £5 at peak times and £2.50 off-peak.
The council’s planning officers had recommended the plans for approval – but now, the local authority faces having to pay major legal costs after losing the case.
In the inspectorate’s adjudication, Kay Sheffield said the council had provided no substantial evidence to prove installing parking meters on South Stack Road would pose a greater threat to public and highway safety.
She said the council focused instead on ”the potential effect charging for parking might have on the use of the car parks.”
”Whilst it claimed that the area already suffers from significant traffic congestion, there is no substantive evidence to confirm that the proposed installation of parking meters and associated signage would result in an unacceptable increase in parking.”
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.
The RSPB said it welcomed the inspectorate’s decision, adding it would make a further announcement about its plans to introduce parking charges once the council has determined another planning application to renovate its Visitor Centre.
Anglesey Council said they would ”carefully consider” the inspector’s findings.