TOWN councillors are calling for parking charges in Northwich to be put on hold until more of Barons Quay is up and running.

A motion at Monday’s Northwich Town Council, tabled by Cllr Derek Bowden and unanimously backed, calls for Cheshire West and Chester Council to hold off on introducing parking charges.

CWAC has already confirmed that most of the borough’s council-controlled car parks will be subject to charges, but Northwich representatives say the concept should wait until 65 per cent of Barons Quay’s square footage is occupied.

Cllr Sam Naylor, who sits on both councils, said: “Because of Government funding cuts and other pressures the decision has been made that for the vast majority of council-controlled car parks charges will be implemented.

"We have advocated all along that they shouldn’t be introduced in Northwich until the regeneration process has had more time to develop.

“Some work has taken place but it is by no means complete. Weaver Square has to be progressed and Barons Quay hasn’t got the kind of occupancy rate that we think is required before charges are feasible.”

Collectively, Asda, Odeon and Wildwood fill 40 per cent of Barons Quay, leaving 25 per cent to be taken up before charges would become active.

The plan would mirror the approach in Winsford, where parking will remain free at the point of use until the town centre regeneration project takes shape.