FREE-off-street parking spaces in Romsey town centre will soon be scrapped.

Approximately 29 spaces in Lortemore Place car park which offer free parking for up to one hour will come to an end in the middle of September.

Planning portfolio holder and chair of Romsey Future, Cllr Nick Adams-King Test Valley Borough Council, said: "In the middle of September the spaces in Lortemore Place will go back to being pay and display. We cannot afford to keep it free forever."

He added: "I am pleased we will be able to offer it as free parking through August. I pushed for the parking to remain free for another month so people could take advantage of it in the summer."

Cllr Mark Cooper, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "It always has been a pay and display car park and there is no reason why it should not continue. The only reason it was free parking was because we had disruption in the town with the Market Place, but now it is completed I think it is quite right it should be reintroduced.

"There are a surprising number of free spaces in Romsey and if you plan your journey carefully you can find somewhere to park."

Cllr Janet Burnage, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "We always knew it was going to go back to pay and display. It is a shame though because it is very convenient and useful.

"It would be nice if they could keep a few spaces free as well."

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, Cllr Nick said after the work in the Market Place was completed the town should get back "an extra 15 spaces that were previously free of charge".

This comes after the £3.2 million town revamp started on January 7, meaning that many of the free short-stay on-street parking spaces in the town centre were temporarily unavailable.

York stone paving now surrounds the Palmerston statue, and power bollards have been installed at the entrances to the Market Place.

There is also a new bicycle rack and a number of new benches installed.

The works follow £1.5 million of improvements to Church Street in 2015, and Bell Street in 2018.