Community leaders have debated a proposed scheme for those with disabilities to have their own disabled parking space outside their homes.

Proposals to allow blue badge holders to apply for a designated disabled parking space outside their home were discussed by the safeguarding, communities and well-being scrutiny committee for Wrexham Council.

It was put forward by the Labour Group last year as part of a ‘notice of motion’ which asked the executive board to consider adopting a Disabled Parking at Home policy to prioritise “vulnerable residents” in the community.

In a report, created for the purpose of the scrutiny committee, Lawrence Isted, head of environment and planning at Wrexham Council, said: “There is no obligation on the council to provide them; such provision being discretionary.

“The provision of these bays is a complex and emotive subject.

“There is no identifiable ‘one size fits all’ approach and policies vary from one local authority to another reflecting local priorities and circumstances.

“The complexity and difficulties of implementing such a policy is reflected in the fact that many local authorities simply do not provide them.”

Mr Isted noted in the report that the development of disabled spaces outside properties is “fraught with problems in how it would be implemented to comply with equality legislation” and there is no “existing budget or staffing resource” to provide the “discretionary” service.

During the committee meeting, Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said the council receives requests for on-street disabled parking bays but there are not “high volumes” and the requests are “infrequent”.

Mr Isted said: “All authorities who make mandatory disabled parking bays [which includes Gwynedd, Conwy and Cheshire West and Chester] commented that objections to the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders can be time-consuming and problematic to resolve, especially when the objections are on the grounds of the applicant’s need/‘deservedness’ which is not possible to prove or disprove due to data protection regulations.

“To implement a Traffic Regulation Order requires the drafting of a legal order which is subject to statutory consultation with those likely to be impacted.”

Mr Isted also revealed in the report that estimated costs per bay if proposals were given the go ahead would be approximately £4,775 for mandatory bays and £450 for advisory bays.

He said: “The above costs do not include the cost of an occupational therapy assessment that is not normally charged as assessment for services under the Social Services and Well-being Act 2014 are not chargeable.

“However, charging for a discretionary service is permitted and may fund the cost of provision of the service.

“The cost of an occupational therapy assessment is estimated at about £450.”

Cllr Joan Lowe, lead member for health and adult social care, said the occupational team “is already struggling” and did not believe this proposal would be appropriate to recommend.

She added: “We all feel we should help disabled people however we can but if we went along this road, take it from me, disabled people would have to suffer in some other way. We’d be robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Mr Isted confirmed advisory bays are “unenforceable” and would rely on “the goodwill of a considerate public” to work.

But Cllr Brian Cameron believed the proposal was “becoming” for those who need disabled spaces closeby to their homes.

He said: “When they have to park around the corner it does make things very difficult. The idea is to keep more and more people in their homes – not make it more difficult for them to get out of their homes.”

Cllr Bithell responded to say “there is not a budget” for the proposal.

Scutiny committee members also expressed their concerns about the possibility of those who pay for a bay to be put outside their property having problems with other people parking in their space.

Cllr Andy Williams said it would cause “a lot of anxiety and frustration”.

Eight members voted for the recommendation to note the “complexity and cost implications” of the proposal and to proceed with further development of the service “is unlikely to lead an achievable, sustainable policy at this time”.

Two members voted against.