PLANS for a new pay and display parking system which could see free parking spaces being axed have been branded "disgraceful". 

Halstead Town Council has hit out at plans by the North Essex Parking Partnership to introduce paid for parking on the High Street. 

Many of the councillors raised their concerns regarding the situation, including Grahame McCoyd who called it “disgraceful”.

Vice chairman Andy Munday said it showed “no consideration for our town”.

Halstead Gazette: Council meeting - Queens Hall in HalsteadCouncil meeting - Queens Hall in Halstead (Image: Newsquest)

If implemented, it could affect the Halstead High Street and The Centre, meaning residents and visitors would not be able to park for free.

Councillors feared introducing the fees could prevent people from visiting the town. 

James Bond stated that this scheme would save NEPP money as traffic wardens would not need to go back and forth having to check on the parking spaces as much.

All attending councillors voted for Halstead Council penning a letter to NEPP, raising the concerns on the system.

Halstead Gazette: Busy area - Halstead high streetBusy area - Halstead high street (Image: Google Maps)

Speaking to the Gazette, Halstead mayor Jackie Pell said: “I didn’t doubt the council wouldn’t be in favourite of it.

“Like me, they have received numerous complaints from the public.

“We must encourage people to write in, don’t do a petition, a personally written letter will hold so much more strength.

“Letters should be sent to"

Halstead Gazette: Parking spot - The CentreParking spot - The Centre (Image: Google Maps)

According to the NEPP, the system is “to manage traffic and encourage appropriate use of off-street car parks for stays” and to “reduce the burden” on traffic officers needing to return to check how long cars have been parked.

Essex County Councillor Chris Siddall, who represents Halstead, said Essex County Council wants more footfall for the town and an alternative around the system should be considered.

The system is set to be sent out for consultation before any decision is made.

A spokesman for NEPP has commented on the situation.

They said: “The proposals for new on-street parking were recently voted through by the NEPP joint committee, subject to additional communications with local residents, businesses and Essex Council ahead of the consultation exercise.

“The formal public consultation stage will allow residents and stakeholders to provide feedback and raise any concerns.

"All comments received will be carefully considered before the finalisation and implementation of any scheme.

“We understand the importance of keeping the public informed throughout this process.

"We encourage everyone to review the detailed reports outlining the proposed TROs and to participate in the upcoming public consultation period.

"Feedback is invaluable in helping us make informed decisions that benefit the entire community.”