The RSPB  intends to appeal against Anglesey Council’s refusal for planning permission to install pay and display meters at a popular beauty spot.

Going against the advice of officers, Anglesey Council’s planning committee turned down bids by the RSPB to install meters at Elin’s Tower and the visitor’s centre car parks at South Stack near Holyhead.

Despite officers warning that the committee’s only consideration should be the merits of the meter itself – and not necessarily its impact – most members rejected such calls and were adamant it would reflect negatively impact on the local community.

Labour member for Caergybi, Cllr Glyn Haynes, said: “We can’t just go ahead and rubber-stamp something if we feel its morally wrong.”

He added his belief that it was “right” to consider the knock-on effects that the meter would have and that it was “its too simplistic” to ignore the inevitable results.

According to activists who were opposed to the RSPB’s bid to implement parking charges of £5 during the peak season and £2.50 for off-peak (October until Easter), the move would lead to cars parking on the narrow roads nearby in a bid to avoid paying the fees.

However, the RSPB has now confirmed its intention of appealing the planning committee’s rejection. If successful, the authority could face a hefty bill of several thousands of pounds.

But having re-considered the plans, the RSPB has also confirmed it will no longer seek a flat parking fee, deciding to implement a staggered pricing structure.

A spokesman for the charity, said: “During the last few weeks, we have taken on board various comments and concerns in relation to the car park charges at RSPB South Stack.

“Although all three planning applications for the car park ticket machines and signage have been refused, our situation remains the same – we are currently running the site at a deficit.

“We must therefore increase our income to become financially sustainable.

“Charging a car park fee is the most appropriate way to raise additional income, which is becoming the norm for many public bodies and charities who manage visitor attractions and public car parks.

“We know that this is an emotive subject and have thought long and hard about the many comments and suggestions we have received. As a result, we have developed a package of further concessions which we aim to introduce as a trial.”

As a result, the RSPB has confirmed that an  earlier plan to apply a £20 annual concession rate to the residents of the Holyhead will be extended to cover all residents in Anglesey.

A new tiered pricing structure will also vary seasonally, including £2 an hour during the summer peak season, and £1.50 am hour over the winter months. Daily rates will be £5 and £2.50 respectively.

The spokesman added: “Following legal advice, we have decided to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for the refusal of planning permission for the installation of car park meters and signage in our three car parks.

“We also have plans for development of the visitor facilities at the site which we are hoping to undertake next year. “South Stack’s buildings are in desperate need of repair and refurbishment and the office building is structurally unsound.

“We are planning to partially demolish and re-build a fit for purpose office and welfare space for staff and volunteers, as well as a new café seating area and toilet facilities for visitors and locals. “We aim to submit a planning application soon.”