KINGSWEAR is on target for a blanket residents' parking scheme following a packed public meeting on Tuesday.

A public forum of 70 local residents added a democratic measure of local views for two special visitors to take on board.

County council highways chief John Halliday and local county councillor John Mills outlined the scheme and they will now report back to the South Hams partnership committee in early April, when a final recommendation is made.

Parish council chairman David Ashley, who chaired the meeting, said that a residents' parking scheme had been talked about for a number of years and the parish council had debated the issue on several occasions.

'Last year', he explained, 'we were presented with a scheme, combined with one for Dartmouth, and there were only seven objections, including the parish council's reservations about parking on Ridley Hill. As a result, it had to be re-advertised, so we are now faced with a re-vamped new scheme.'

Mr Ridley added: 'The problem in Kingswear is that we get a lot of parking on the highway by motorists who don't live here. Yachtsmen park in the streets and then go off for four weeks, and we also have to put up with those who park here and then cross the river to work in Dartmouth.

'Kingswear people drive round in circles looking for somewhere to park.'

Mr Ashley said that local residents did not seem to oppose a residents' parking scheme in principle, but there were objections to some of the details, such as those for Church Hill.

He said that the parish council had now accepted the county council's scheme, with some suggested modifications.

As a result, residents' parking will eventually be introduced on all the village roads, with a few areas for short-term parking. The news will be particularly welcomed by Lower Contour Road residents, who suffer most from all-day 'visitors'.

Some residents at the meeting argued that additional weekly permits should be available for bona-fide visitors staying with them.

Former parish councillor Jan Henshall said: 'Many residents are not at all happy with the current proposals. A great many demands were made for amendments to the scheme which would take into account the needs of all the communuty.'