Plans to increase parking charges at a “little-used” high-rise car park have been slammed as “foolish and counter-productive”.

Local Conservatives have criticised proposals by Brighton and Hove City Council to increase the cost of parking at Norton Road car park in Hove by up to a third.

Councillor Andrew Wealls and local election candidate Adam Love said the council had ignored the wishes of hundreds of residents who signed a petition to make the site free at weekends to boost shopping trade.

The council has dismissed the idea of free parking saying that it would not boost trade and would cost the council £60,000 in lost revenue.

Proposals discussed at last week’s transport committee would see the cost of two hours’ parking at the Hove site jump from £1.50 to £2 while five hours’ parking could cost £4.50 for 2013/14.

Mr Love and Coun Wealls, who are running the Free Parking at Norton Road Car Park campaign, critisised the plan as “foolish, greedy and counter-productive”.

Coun Wealls said: “This move shows the Green administration is completely out of touch with the concerns of residents and local business.

“The plan is a slap in the face to the hundreds who signed our petition and supported our calls for free parking.”

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