PARKING will be back on the agenda on Thursday (March 14) as Devizes Town Council lays out its stall for its latest plan for the Market Place.

Behind the scenes negotiations have been going on between town councillors and Wiltshire Council to come up with a plan that would allow some free parking to remain after the Market Place is transferred to town council control on April 1.

Cllr Kelvin Nash, who has led the town’s negotiations, said: “Wiltshire Council officers have suggested an amended proposal for the transfer of the Market Place from Wiltshire Council to the Town Council.

“We believe this amended proposal will offer greater flexibility, but of course, there will be an associated cost implication.”

The pressure group Save Devizes Market Place has urged members of the public to attend the full town council meeting which starts at 7pm in the Town Hall.

The agenda for the meeting puts forward a variety of options that include the town council paying Wiltshire Council £95,000 a year to keep free parking. This would add £16.42 a year to the council tax bill for an average band D home.

If only 50 per cent of the space was used for free parking the town would have to pay Wiltshire Council £47,500 a year and this would add £8.21 to average council tax bills.

The new move follows a decision taken last week by the town council to do a u-turn on its plan turn the Market Place into a community space and for parking to end except for taxis and disabled drivers.

The report says: “There is support for an activity space in the Market Place that can be used for regular events. Such a space would need to be sympathetically laid out to ensure it did not look like part of the car park, although this should initially be done with the use of planters and benches rather than significant expenditure on a remodelling of the hard landscaping.

“The loss of this space will restrict the council’s ability to promote events and activities that will support greater visitor numbers to the town.

“If the Council decides that paying Wiltshire Council a flat fee to enable parking in the Market Place is unacceptable or unaffordable officers will advise Wiltshire Council of this.” It is possible this could end the town’s wish to take over the Market Place.