FREE car parks across Flintshire could be hit by charges if new plans go ahead.
Angry calls to throw out the proposals came amid fears they would threaten town centre businesses.
The plans were branded “inconsistent”, as charges loom over four of one town’s six car parks, while another town which has 12 escapes the blow.
But a report by Flintshire Council officers states the changes are aimed at “addressing this inconsistency” as currently shoppers only pay to park in Mold and Holywell, while all the other council car parks are free.
The authority plans to introduce charges at certain locations in Buckley, Connah’s Quay and Flint – but not in Queensferry, Saltney, Shotton or Talacre.
Under the plans, motorists would pay 20p per hour for up to three hours or £2 all day, between 8am and 3pm Monday to Saturday.
In Holywell, the leisure centre car park would remain free, while in Mold the town hall car park would have a charge.
Buckley councillors intend to speak in opposition and ask for a recommendation for the charges to be scrapped.
Mike Peers, Flintshire councillor for Buckley Pentrobin, said: “Going back historically to the days before Flintshire Council, Delyn charged and Alyn and Deeside didn’t and that’s always been the stance.
“The new Labour administration’s cabinet are proposing to introduce charges across the county.
“The reason it is being called in is that the proposals are not consistent across Alyn and Deeside. In Buckley, four out of five car parks would be charged but none in Shotton.”
Both towns are indicated as similar in the number of occupied and vacant shops and businesses they have in a report to Flintshire Council’s environment overview and scrutiny committee.
It states Buckley has 96 commercial units, with five per cent sitting empty, while Shotton has 94 businesses premises with nine per cent vacant.
But Cllr Peers does not feel the towns are treated equally in the parking charge proposals.
“It’s not like-for-like,” he said. “It’s not consistent at all. It doesn’t do anything for the people of Buckley.
“We are in the process of trying to get a second supermarket and this will do nothing to bring people into the town so we are really concerned about it. People will just go where there is free car parking.”
The civil parking enforcement will go before the committee tomorrow at County Hall in Mold.
A Flintshire Council spokesman said: "The council has undertaken a review of its car parks and their utilisation and is proposing to apply charges to a number of car parks within the county.
“Car park charges have not been reviewed for 18 years and there is currently a degree of inconsistency in that public car parks in Holywell and Mold apply charges whereas others are free.
“This review seeks to provide a more balanced and consistent approach across a larger area of the county."
Car parking charges are proposed for the following sites:
Argoed Road, Bistre Avenue, Black Horse, Brunswick Road
Railway station (£3 all day), Swan Street
Charges already apply at the following car parks:
Grosvenor Street, King Street, Meadow Place, Griffiths Square, New Street, Love Lane (50p all day)
Halkyn Street, Bevans Yard, Tower Gardens Upper, Plas yn Dre, Well Street