Page last updated at 09:06 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 10:06 UK

Row over village car park plans

The carpark in Aberporth
The carpark was left to the village by a resident in 1959

A group of villagers have reacted angrily to plans to build a house on part of a public car park, which was bequeathed by a resident 50 years ago.

An action group has been formed and a petition launched in Aberporth in Ceredigion against the development.

The plot is being sold to help fund a 850,000 village hall renovation.

Tony Tucker, chairman of the hall committee, said the impact had been exaggerated and only six out of the 35 parking spaces would be lost.

He said objectors were under the impression the building project would take up the entire car park.

However, the group has called for an extraordinary general meeting of the village hall committee, and for a vote of no confidence in Mr Tucker.

'Big project'

The land under dispute was bequeathed to the village in 1959 by resident Mary Jenkins.

Motorists and some residents park there for free, but two other county council-run facilities in the village charge drivers.

An action group spokesman said: "This is a real bone of contention in Aberporth.

"It seems that the local village hall committee has taken matters into their own hands and applied for planning permission to erect houses on the existing car park, thereby closing what has become an established right of way and potentially causing major traffic problems on an adjoining service road."

Mr Tucker said the action group was "overstating the case". He added that the hall committee was responsible for all public land in the village.

"We've been in the process, for about 11 years, of trying to rebuild our village hall," said Mr Tucker.

"It's a big hall and a big project which will cost approximately 850,000.

"We're planning to use a portion of the car park for the house, which will go towards rebuilding the hall. Those neighbouring the car park have enjoyed free parking on the land."


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