At least four Forfar businesses are considering closing due to the impact of parking charges on their profits, a new survey has revealed.
A total of 72 businesses responded to a recent snapshot poll with 61 of them claiming the charges have had a negative impact.
Around three quarters said they had seen their sales fall since the introduction of the charges in November last year.
The under threat businesses chose to remain anonymous.
Businessman and community councillor Ian Whyte carried out the poll last month.
He said: “I simply felt the town centre businesses could not afford even the smallest decline in trade.
“The charges have not been given enough thought or consideration of the possible effects.”
Charles Jarvis, of drapers Jarvis Brothers, has written to Angus Council communities convener, Mark Salmond, an independent councillor, warning Forfar could turn into a “tumbleweed town.”
He said: “It is a little galling to see livelihoods of people who have invested time and capital being put at risk.
“I personally did not think it would have quite the disastrous effect that it has had so far.”
Councillor Lynne Devine of the SNP, said Mr Whyte had carried out a “really comprehensive survey”
“The findings are not good, but not at all surprising. The way in which the introduction of parking charges has been handled has been a travesty,” she said.
Mr Salmond said the survey results would be referred to Angus Council’s Car Parking Member Officer Group for consideration.
He said traditional high streets across the UK are facing various challenges “not least from online shopping.”
He said: “Drivers have been able to park for free in Angus for 22 years. Given the unprecedented financial pressures that we face, we cannot afford to do that anymore.
“We know this is a significant change, which is why we have introduced off-street charges that stand very fair comparison against any other area.
“People can still park for free on-street in designated areas for up to 30 minutes in all Angus towns. Off-street parking is available for just £1 an hour up to a maximum of £4 hours, and our permits offer parking for as little as 85p per day.”
Councillor Braden Davy the Conservative Forfar representative, said a 20% budget cut had left the administration “with few options.”
He said: “We have protected 30 minutes of free parking, more than in Aberdeenshire or Dundee.”