PAY-PARK LEGAL BID; Judicial Review Sought over Charging Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE BLACKBURN

THE fight to stop the introduction of pay-and-display parking in Yarm could go to the High Court.

Yarm Town Council has voted to seek a judicial review into Stockton Council's contentious plans to charge for parking in High Street.

And disgruntled local traders have put their hands in their pockets to stump up the fees for the legal challenge - which could cost up to pounds 25,000.

A meeting was called this week to discuss the way forward in the battle against the pay-and-display plans, which opponents say will inconvenience residents and visitors and could damage the local economy. The proposals, agreed by Stockton's Cabinet in December, will see up to 80 spaces on the cobbled area of the high street converted from long-stay to short-stay and a sliding scale of charges introduced for people wishing to park for more than 10 minutes during daytime.

Conservative Yarm town councillor Chris Johnson told the meeting that - if a judicial review were successful on all grounds - "it will mean that pay and display will never come to this high street".

He said the cost of launching the legal challenge started at pounds 1,000 and may reach pounds 25,000 if it went "to the end of the line".

Fellow Yarm town councillor, and Stockton Borough councillor, Mark Chatburn said businesses and residents in Yarm had "quite clearly demonstrated that they didn't want pay and display on the high street".

The Conservative added: "We can put up or we can all go home tonight and look forward to these parking meters in the high street. …