Blairgowrie residents who have faced years of parking woes fear plans for a new leisure centre will make their plight even worse.
Beeches Road resident James Reeves, 90, says he has been battling with Perth and Kinross Council for nine years over issues with parking outside his home.
He and a number of neighbours say staff from Blairgowrie High School, opposite their homes, park outside their properties when there are no spaces available in the school staff car park.
Mr Reeves has been complaining to the council since 2012 and has several letters from the council and Perthshire North MSP John Swinney that he has kept throughout their years of communication.
Now he and his neighbours think plans for a new recreation centre, to be built behind Blairgowrie High School, will cause even more problems.
The £24 million centre will include a swimming pool, an outside sports pitch and parking.
Mr Reeves, who has lived on Beeches Road for more than 15 years, said: “It’s going to get worse, a lot worse.
“For all the cars that can’t get a space, they’ll be queuing up on the road for an easier way out and park here again.
“Nobody monitors it, nobody even comes and looks at it. The council don’t listen to us.”
One local resident, who asked not to be named, says parking is only a problem when the school is open.
He said: “The parking during school hours is atrocious.
“We’ve lived here for over 40 years but only noticed how bad it was a few years ago after I retired and was at home more.”
Another resident of the street says parking has been an issue for her since she moved in last year.
She said: “I’m really disgusted by the number of staff that park in our area when there is spaces in the park at the high school.
“I was heavily pregnant and I couldn’t get to my car.
“If there’s a tiny space they’ll squeeze themselves in so they can just cross the road and go to work.
A ‘historic’ issue
“I don’t have an issue with parents stopping for drop off and pick up, that’s fine.
“It’s the fact staff are parking from 8.20am until 5pm.
“It’s a historic thing. My neighbours have been trying for a long time to sort it but they still park there.”
Perth and Kinross Council‘s planning and development management committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss a pre-application notice for the new centre, ahead of a full application to come later.
If planning permission is approved, the centre will open in November 2023.
‘Problems for several years’
Bob Brawn, Scottish Conservative councillor for Blairgowrie and Glens, says he has been aware of parking issues in the area for some time.
He said: “Parking on Beeches Road around the high school and the Rec Centre has presented problems for several years and which continue to this day.
“I have written to the head teacher of the School asking if she can ensure that staff utilise all off-street parking before parking outside residents homes, which causes much frustration and anger.
“A possible solution would be to restrict parking to residents only but this too may present problems. I will ask the community council to see if they can gauge opinions on this.
“The new Rec Centre will be constructed behind the School and the old Centre demolished to increase on-site parking which hopefully will alleviate those problems.
“A pre-application notice will be put to the planning committee on Wednesday (July 28) which will give councillors the opportunity to raise any comments or concerns.
“Every effort will be made to avoid any traffic problems during construction but this a major project and I would ask residents to allow for any occasional difficulties.”
Perth and Kinross Council has been approached for comment.