Residents in part of Helston are facing a fee rise of more than 160 per cent to park their cars amid claims that the whole process has “stunk of deviousness and secrecy.”

It is after people living at Castle Green found that the cost of an annual unreserved permit for the car park immediately in front of their houses was rising from £36 to £94.

The proposal is part of the 2018 Off-Street Parking Order put together by Cornwall Council – a follow up to last year’s document, which was subsequently put on hold until after the election.

In the 2017 document, however, the proposal for Castle Green was just a £2 rise on unreserved permits.

David Maddock, who is disabled, said he would now be forced to park in St Johns Road, which was already heavily congested during the day.

He claimed the proposed rise was hidden away in the middle of a 63-page consultation document in the small print and that this “stank of deviousness and secrecy.”

“Has everybody got a computer? Is everybody going to sit down and slog through 96 pages to see the plans?” he questioned.

He also claimed that an accompanying letter from the council - which he described as “misleading and contradictory” - only spoke of proposed changes to other towns before stating “…tariffs in all other council car parks will remain as they have done for the last three years” – so residents did not think to check the finer details.

“Several people to whom I have spoken have said that, as the letter had stated no changes were to be made to the parking fees, they had not bothered to return the response form,” he said.

The council has hit back at this suggestion however, quoting the same letter sent to residents in which it was also stated: “Charges for reserved spaces have remained the same for three years while in the same period the demand for the spaces has increased. We are therefore increasing the cost of reserved parking permits to bring them more into line with their market value.”

A spokesperson said that documents could still be viewed online at, although the consultation itself had now closed.

Mr Maddock said he wouldn’t mind a rise in line with inflation but claimed that such a large increase contravened an historical understanding that, because Castle Green residents had no road outside their houses - which were built in approximately 1860 - they were allowed to park on the former cattle market on that site, when the market was not in use, and continue to do so for only a small fee when it was converted into a car park.

“This concession was acknowledged for many years by the Helston Borough Council and its successors of Kerrier Council and the county council,” he said, saying that what started as a yearly £5 fee 20 years ago had risen to £20 per annum when Kerrier took over and latterly had stood at £36 for many years - until now.

He added: “It is my opinion that the county council has been conducting a devious or misguided plan to deprive the residents of a time-honoured privilege granted in the past.”

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “Parking permits for Castle Green car park in Helston have changed in response to the parking tariff consultation which took place last year and have been increased to reflect the market rate. The results of the Cornwall-wide consultation are still under review and have not yet been finalised.

“Cornwall Council has no historical records to support claims of any local agreements. If evidence of any agreements is provided this would be honoured, but until then we reserve the right to apply changes.”

Mr Maddock told the Packet though that the records had been lost when Heston Borough Council transferred all its paperwork to Kerrier District Council; both councils are now defunct.