Shoppers will be paying to use a Downham car park from tomorrow.
Napier Parking has announced that charges ranging from 60p to £5.40 will be introduced to the Wales Court Shopping Centre.
The firm has secured a lease for the car park, which will be only the second in the town to charge motorists, from owners Pearl and Cootes.
But the plan has been supported by some businesses close to the site, which is known as the Iceland car park, who feel the spaces are mostly taken by people working in the town.
Butcher John Goddard said: “I feel for the workers but I think it is going to be good for the shops.
“I am hoping it will encourage more shoppers to come to the town. Some mornings there are 80 cars parked but 70 of those will belong to workers.
“In the long run I think it will be a good thing.”
Owner of Lewks, Lawrence Welham is also in favour.
He said: “The car park is full by 9am and unavailable for shoppers.
“I think it is going to free up a lot of spaces which can only be good for trade.”
Maureen Hibling, of the Sew Inn, said: “Personally I feel car parking charges are not a good thing.”
Town mayor David Sharman said the council had not been informed of the plans until he received a flier.
He said: “The only thing is the free car parks like The Hollies and Tesco are going to get busier. I think we are going to have to wait a week to see what the repercussions are.”
Napier’s managing director James de Savary says the owners want the car park run on a commercial basis.
He said the car park is being improved with a new surface and lines.
Mr de Savary said: “The car park has been occupied for the majority of the day by people working in the town.
“There will be a choice for people to use and we feel we have a good produce.”
Parking charges are 60p for an hour, £1 for two hours, £1.50 for three, £2.70 for 24 hours and £5.40 for 48 hours.