WATER sports firms in Poole are warning that proposed 500 per cent increases to the cost of parking permits could “ruin” their businesses.

Poole council is set to consider an overhaul of its annual charges for special spaces in Shore Road and Banks Road after its system was deemed to be “no longer fit for purpose”.

Companies can apply for Shore Road Traders Permits at a cost of £400 but the council is being recommended to approve an increase to £2,000.

The revamped permits would provide six designated, larger spaces for water sports vehicles running activities in Whitley Lake.

In January 2016 the council was recommended to replace the existing scheme with a new system managed by its environmental services licensing team.

On Thursday (July 5) its transportation advisory group will consider a recommendation to approve the new permits programme which a report says would “enable the council to enforce more stringent parking conditions”.

However, the owner of one of the firms which will be impacted by the changes said that the hike in charges could “ruin” their business.

“Water sports businesses bring in hundreds of thousands of pounds to Poole every year,” he said. “The charges being considered are extremely high and would have a huge impact on us.

“I would be happy to pay the higher rate if it meant we got something in return, maybe changing facilities or public showers, but it is purely to bring in more money to the council.

“If the charges go up then we will be forced to pass them onto customers and they will then go to Wareham and it will ruin our business.”

Changes would be brought in through a new traffic regulation order and would also implement a 16-hour parking time limit.

The new system would be introduced from March 1 2019 and discussions have been held between the businesses which would be affected and council officers.

A report to the transportation advisory group says: “The new Business Activity on the Highway Parking Permit would provide the council with greater control over the size of permitted vehicles and length of stay within the parking bay.

“The suggested cost of the permit is £2,000 per year.

“This cost has been derived by assessing the value of the highway in this area from parking income and then offsetting this with a significant discount due to the attractiveness of the activities on offer.”

A decision on whether to introduce the new permits will be made at the group’s meeting on Thursday.