A DECISION on a bid for pay and display meters at a popular nature reserve will not be made for at least another month.

Anglesey Council planning officers had recommended that members should approve an RSPB application to install three parking meters at South Stack on Holy Island, which are currently free to park.

But due to road safety concerns, local councillors succeeded in a request that members should visit the site before making a decision.

Councillors Trefor Lloyd Hughes and Dafydd Rhys Thomas had both asked for the applications to be “called-in” to committee due to fears that the new charges would lead to motorists parking on the roadside in order to avoid paying.

Cllr Trefor Lloyd Hughes, one of three members for Ynys Gybi, said during today's planning meeting: “I think it would be beneficial if all the committee members saw for themselves the issues, before making a decision.

“There is much concern locally and I think that would be the fairest outcome.”

Over 5,000 people have signed a petition against the plans, which would see two parking meters at the Visitor Centre and another located at T?r Elin, implementing a £5 flat fee during the tourist season.

According to the RSPB, all the proceeds will be reinvested back into the facilities, which are well known for the nesting seabirds.

A spokesperson said: “We’re planning to charge £5 for peak and £2.50 for off-peak (October until Easter) car parking for non-members visiting RSPB South Stack.”

“This parking charge will allow us to continue centuries old management of Holyhead’s wonderful heathland, keeping it in prime condition and contributing to the beautiful scenery, as well as a home for wildlife, which people from all over the world travel to see.

“It will fund local contractors to do vital management work such as trimming the heather to provide the right habitat for some of the UK’s rarest birds, flowers and butterflies.”

Despite recommending approval, the planning officers’ report acknowledged local opposition, with highways staff also raising reservations.

But these, according to officers, are not relevant issues for such a planning application to be refused.

“Objections have been raised by residential properties that the installation of the parking meter will encourage people to park on South Stack road,” noted the report.

“This is not a planning matter and consideration will have to be made by the Highway Authority on its powers under the Highway Act to prevent parking on South Stack road.”

A decision is now expected to be made during the planning commitee’s next meeting on May 2.