A town centre resident’s bid to end years of “fighting for parking spaces” has been dealt a blow by the town council.

An application to introduce residents-only parking on St Mary Street, near Chippenham High Street, was submitted to the town council after locals claimed the lack of spaces on the road had become a “divisive and stressful issue.”

But councillors rejected the plans by a vote of seven to two at a meeting last week and declined to submit the request to the Local Highways and Footpaths Improvement Group.

The resident, who was not identified, claimed on-street parking is “severely limited”, due to double yellow lines and short stay zones, while other spaces are used by visitors to the town centre, leaving residents “nowhere to park.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: St Mary Street leads towards Chippenham High StreetSt Mary Street leads towards Chippenham High Street (Image: Newsquest)

They said: “Residents routinely report returning home in poor weather, with children, with shopping, and being unable to park anywhere near their houses.

“Often residents are at a loss of exactly what to do.”

Sue Linacre, who has lived on St Mary Street for over 30 years, claimed the road’s inhabitants had been appealing for change for years.

She added: “We have nowhere to park the car, on one side there are no restrictions but as soon as you leave the space is gone…. it’s very difficult.”

Cllr William Douglas, who proposed to reject the request, argued that the scheme would simply push parking issues to the outskirts of the town.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: St Mary Street St Mary Street (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “The difficulty is people just move somewhere else, everybody wants their street reserved but it just pushes it further up… the street is best left as it is.”

Cllr David Poole agreed that offering to support the plans would set a dangerous precedent and warned locals they would need to continue battling for parking.

He added: “There’s more people residing in the centre of Chippenham, I’m very concerned we are pushing parking problems to other areas.

“The harsh reality is that if you live in the town centre you really have to fight for car parking spaces, it’s difficult, setting a precedent would probably be detrimental to residents in other streets.”

Cllr Gemma Grimes raised concerns that restricting parking would damage local businesses and argued that the issue was softened by the fact short stay parking was only between 8am and 6pm.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: St Mary Street parkingSt Mary Street parking (Image: Newsquest)

Cllr Matthew Short, who voted against rejecting the proposal, added that in principle Wiltshire Council would support residents-only zones.

Any future scheme would require the support of 51 per cent of residents to be considered.