PARKING fees are set be introduced at one of Colchester’s most popular beauty spots.

Colchester Council intends to charge families and nature lovers to use the High Woods Country Park car park, off Turner Road.

The aim is to raise revenue and stop staff and patients at nearby Colchester General Hospital avoiding charges by using the parking area.

But campaigners believe the fees will exacerbate parking problems on roads surrounding Turner Road, such as Wryneck Close.

The proposed charges range from 50p to £4. They are identical to those proposed a year ago in the council’s first attempt to introduce a fee.

The plans were shelved and a consultation launched after Conservative councillor Sue Lissimore objected, saying the plans had not been thought through properly.

She said she would be surprised if the proposals were any more viable, one year on.

Mrs Lissimore said: “From what we could see, there weren’t enough using the car park to make it financially viable to install machines and use security to collect money. I can’t see how that has changed.

“One of the council’s principal targets is to increase people’s fitness and wellbeing. The park is there so people can take walks and breathe fresh air. This move would stop some people doing that.”

Martin Goss, councillor for Mile End, said he was not happy about the charges, but said he could not think of an alternative.

He said: “I don’t believe they will add any value to the use of the park or reduce parking drastically or be a massive revenue generator.

“That said, we are in impoverished times and every penny helps. Hopefully, it will stop commuters and some hospital parkers using the car park.”