AN APPLICATION which would see the condition to park for free at the Matalan store in Rhyl removed has been refused. 

Opposition to the imposition of car parking charges at the Matalan store in Rhyl had been mounting ahead of today’s key county council meeting on the issue.

Denbighshire’s planning committee met at County Hall, Ruthin, this morning to consider whether condition six of the original planning consent from 2001 should be removed for the land at Greenfield Place.

The condition has allowed for free parking for customers and shoppers using the town centre. The proposal was recommended for approval but has been refused. 

Last week the Journal revealed how two parking ticket machines had been installed at the car park, even though its owners, Nectar Asset 

Management of Copenhagen, had not received permission from Denbighshire Council to have condition six lifted, although council officers have recommended its request to do so should be approved.

The owners had permission from Denbighshire to install the machines but not to start charging motorists.

Graeme Rich – who, jointly with Glen Mitchell, runs the town’s forum on Facebook – said: “Ever since the Journal carried the story about the car park owners jumping the gun and imposing charges without permission, there has been a groundswell of vocal opposition growing in the town. There have been numerous posts on the forum, but much more than that I’ve been frequently stopped in the street and told how strongly people resent the imposition.

“More than one person has said they won’t shop at Matalan in the future if they have to pay to park.

“This is a hot topic in the town. People oppose the principle of paying to park and the way the company has gone about this, trying to charge without even having permission.”

Mr Rich added: “People have been paying since July. It is tantamount to extortion. There are signs threatening enforcement action.”

Rhyl Town Council has already opposed the move to bring in parking fees. Charges displayed start at £1 for up to two hours, rising to £4 for up to 24 hours, although the two-hour charge is refunded if a minimum of £5 is spent in Matalan.

Denbighshire Council has received a large number of public comments.